City of York 23.10.23 (1)

Residents invited behind the scenes on Council’s first Passivhaus site

City of York Council is offering a first opportunity for residents to go behind the scenes to learn more about how energy-efficient and zero-carbon Passivhaus homes are being built in the city.

This free Passivhaus Open Day will be at the Council’s first Passivhaus development at Duncombe Square in Clifton. The Open Day is part of a national event to showcase this form of building homes.

Passivhaus is a construction standard with a goal of creating energy-efficient buildings with a low carbon footprint. In order to achieve that, Passivhaus homes use a variety of features that are designed to reduce their need for heating and cooling rooms.

Located off Burton Stone Lane in Clifton, these 34 homes have been designed by Stirling Prize-winning architects Mikhail Riches. They are being built around a central green open space, while shared ‘ginnels’ at the rear of the terraces create a safe space for children to play and grow up together.

Duncombe Square and Burnholme Green are part of the Council’s Housing Delivery Programme which is creating 600 affordable and sustainable homes in the city. They are the programme’s first two Passivhaus housing sites and are predicted to deliver a 70% reduction in energy use and bills. Both Duncombe Square and Burnholme Green’s homes will be 60% affordable – the current requirement for new housing developments is for them to be 20% affordable – with the remaining 40% for sale on the open market and marketed under the Shape Homes York brand.

City of York Council in collaboration with Shape Homes York, has already welcomed over forty construction professionals on these sites to learn about Passivhaus design and construction in practice.

Cllr Kate Ravilious, Executive Member for Environment and Climate Emergency at City of York Council, said: “For twenty years, Passivhaus buildings have been helping cut carbon emissions across the world. Those who have built them have welcomed people interested in learning more about these zero-carbon homes. This site visit will show the materials, construction methods, ventilation and heating systems used to create these much-needed homes. Self-builders and interested residents are all welcome to this opportunity.”

Cllr Michael Pavlovic, Executive Member for Housing, Planning and Safer Communities at City of York Council, said: “These 34 homes tackle housing shortages and fuel poverty in York. The majority will be affordable – for social rent and for shared ownership – and being Passivhaus, these houses and apartments will be high quality and low cost to run.”

Chayley Collis, from the Passivhaus Trust, said: “A big thank you to City of York Council for taking part in this year’s Passivhaus Open Days. The visits to Duncombe Square will be a great way to share the project team’s technical knowledge of building to the Passivhaus standard and show other councils, building professionals, and social housing providers what is possible for largescale housing developments.”

The event will happen on 10 November and will include a presentation as well as a site tour. The morning event will happen at 10.30am-12.15pm and an afternoon one at 13.30-15.15pm. Spaces are free but limited.

Please sign up at: