St Albans passive house scheme launches, promising luxury and energy income

St Albans passive house scheme launches, promising luxury and energy income

Home buyers seeking sustainable luxury and energy income in a sought-after part of England have a rare opportunity with a newly launched passive house scheme in St Albans.

A trio of highly ecological architectural passive house “plus” homes have gone on the market in the Hertfordshire cathedral city – with calculations showing not only zero energy bills for homeowners, but a net energy income.

The three highly specified detached family homes include a two storey 157 m2 home and three storey homes at 281 and 287 m2 respectively. The scheme is set to feature in a substantial case study in issue 47 of Passive House Plus.

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Developer Surreal Estate’s attention to sustainability extends beyond passive house: the homes are set to be certified to the BRE’s Home Quality Mark (HQM), which covers a broad range of sustainability parameters.

The homes’ walls and roofs have been constructed with Welsh passive house pioneers PYC’s highly ecological build system, comprising timber frame panels insulated with cellulose (recycled newspaper), and a tried-and-tested approach to ensuring airtightness and breathability.

The all electric homes feature 5kW hot water heat pumps, and large solar PV arrays and batteries to ensure that the homes’ miniscule energy demand will be largely met by onsite renewables. Between the microgeneration technology, storage, controls and the building’s highly energy efficient design, Surreal Estates have calculated that the homes could generate net incomes of £370 to £670 per year, based on SAP 2012 calculations.

The open plan, spacious homes are bright and airy, featuring double height spaces with automated clerestory passive house roof windows, and ventilation provided by Passive House Institute-certified Velux Ubbink heat recovery ventilation systems, provided by passive house specialists Green Building Store, who also provided their ULTRA range of triple glazed timber windows and doors for each house.

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The homes have also achieved EPC scores of 120, which Surreal Estate believe to be a regional record.

To view the homes, visit

Last modified on Friday, 08 March 2024 11:43

Marketplace + companies featured in this article


We manufacture and erect high quality timber frame buildings. We are also the UK distributor of Warmcel cellulose insulation with wide network of trained and approved installers.