Newsletter Spring 2019

Our Buckinghamshire project nears completion

Sketch-up diagram of our latest passivhaus project

The Touchwood team are nearing the end stages of constructing a new home on a plot of land previously occupied by a poorly constructed, damp and drafty bungalow. The frame is now up, and we are now set to install the MVHR first fix ductwork, which will leave the structure ready for the follow on tradesmen to bring the house to completion.

roof rafters up
I-beam roof rafters

Dan and Gemma, who own the site, contacted us having decided that they felt strongly about the issues of climate change and CO2 emissions, and they wanted to build their own new home to meet passivhaus standard. Of course this is what we at Touchwood homes are passionate about, so we were delighted to take on the contract for provision of the timber frame structure for this exciting new project!

By comparison to other major sources of CO2 emissions, tackling the issue of energy efficiency in domestic dwellings by building homes to passivhaus standard is a relatively easy and straightforward way that we can make a very real difference. As an additional incentive, the cost of running a passivhaus home is significantly lower than a home built to current UK building regulation standards – typically around 90% less

dorset duct


Passivhaus Technologies

The self-build package that Touchwood Homes provides includes the market leading PAUL MVHR system.  This is an air filtering system that is designed into our pre-cut timber frames, and its purpose is to recover heat from extracted stale air, and use the heat to warm incoming fresh air. 

There are other cheaper alternatives available but none we have found can match this market leading product for efficiency and its silent operation. The difference is something you really have to experience to appreciate but is most noticeable in the calm serene atmosphere created in the homes we build.

While we’ve been busy working on our part of the build process, Dan and Gemma have been busy researching other technologies that will provide water heating and power in their home. They are currently looking at SunAmp thermal batteries, which we agree are a highly efficient way to store heat than the more conventional hot tank solution. They are also looking at complementing these with a Nulok PV system on the roof. This is much more attractive PV solution than the typical bolted on panels that you commonly see now. These panels actually slot into the roof line, matching the rest of the roof, so creating a much slicker visual profile.

Buckinghamshire passivhaus windows

Here's our special rooflight detail, with our timber frame all set ready for the plasterboarding around a rooflight.

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Norrsken have just finished installing their triple glazed passivhaus windows. They were able to come straight in and start their install on site as soon as the frame was ready for them, so this project is pushing forward nicely on schedule. The next phase will be our Touchwood Homes team back on site to install the MVHR system .

We’re really looking forward to bringing you photos of this new passivhaus build once the entire build works are complete. To follow our progress on this and our other projects, why not sign up to our instagram page?