An innovative scheme to develop the site of the former Caerphilly Magistrates Court into 38 new homes built to Passivhaus standard, has been granted planning permission by Caerphilly Council.
Childs+Sulzmann Architects were initially approached by affordable housing provider, Linc-Cymru, to explore options for applying Passivhaus energy efficiency standards to a proposed social housing development. Then, as architects and lead consultants for the £5m scheme, Childs+Sulzmann worked collaboratively on the planning process and produced the tender pack for the scheme.

The news of the planning approval for the first use of Passivhaus in Wales on a large scale came on the same day that tenders were received from contractors bidding to build the scheme. The timely receipt of tenders that came in within budget will allow the scheme to progress promptly in line with the client’s development programme. The project will start on site in April 2018 with an anticipated completion date of January 2019.

Matt Parsons who heads up the Welsh office of Childs+Sulzmann, is leading the project and commented, “This is an exciting project that will really fulfil a need in Wales for low energy affordable housing. It’s a way of ensuring that those who can least afford to pay high energy bills are living in comfortable, warm, quality homes and it will have enormous environmental benefits too.”

Keri Harding-Jones, Project Manager for Linc-Cymru observed “This project will provide affordable homes for our residents in a sustainable location. The energy saving and improved internal air quality measures provided by Passivhaus with help reduce fuel poverty and improve tenant health by eliminating damp and mould. We are delighted that the scheme received planning and can move forward to a site start.”

Childs+ Sulzmann also supported Linc-Cymru’s successful bid to Welsh Government for grant aid through the £19m Innovative Housing Programme. The funding has been allocated to demonstrator projects to help inform Welsh Government, housing associations and local authorities about the type of homes needed to meet future demand and address environmental issues.

The Caerphilly Magistrates Court development is one of several Passivhaus social housing schemes currently being progressed by Childs+Sulzmann.
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