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Friday, November 26, 2010

Trip to Hockerton

22 Nov '10: DNC writes: I was very lucky, queuing in the coffee bar, and one of the students told me he was about to get on the bus to visit Hockerton houses. On finding there was a space on the bus, I made an immediate decision to join them, for the rest of the day.
   This must have been the first set of houses built that would meet the Passivhaus standard (although I don't think they have had them PHPP certificated because of the date of construction, mid 90s, and because they rely on Thermal Mass).
  We were shown round by Simon Tilley, and it was nice that we started with the allotments, the reservoir (they are off the water grid) and the wind turbines, the reed bed before we actually looked at the houses.    
   This demonstrated the holistic nature of the whole scheme, it is not about just the house design, it is also about the whole community and the order of living. He has a very professional presentation (in the Learning Centre nearby) and we also enjoyed seeing the interior of one of the houses.
  Really. They do not have heating! They get by with sunspace, thermal mass and heat reclamation of internal gains. Power needs are met by the combination of PV and wind power.
  The lake in front of the houses is recreational, although it does provide carp for the occasional treat. There is another small lake behind them, to the north, as a reservoir for their fresh water.

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