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Saw those appear en masse on wrongmove feed a couple of days ago ...

The standards they're claiming should be the norm - not the exception - for all new housing!

BTW, Bickleigh is northern fringe of Plimuff. In the area are an army playground, an industrial estate, a big Tesco and a Lidl.

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A friend of mine has just completed a 300sqm house for himself. It's a2 energy rated on 1/2 acre of land - total cost was €300k which includes 1/2 acre of land with planning at €40k.

Very similar to this:

Front_m.JPG

I think it's wuite clear that the shit boxes at Bickleigh, most of the purchase price is going towards the land cost hence the tiny houses squashed together with no gardens.

Cheaper land = better house + more garden.

Edited by Gone to Ireland.

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The standards they're claiming should be the norm - not the exception - for all new housing!

So true. Would swap my Victorian terrace for an decent new build in an instant. Alas we don't get decent new builds in this country.

Only option seemingly to build your own, but going to be a while before I can afford the kind of money required to do that in the South East.

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http://www.bickleigh-eco-village.com/documents/INSERTS_FINAL_2_lowres.pdf

With average annual energy bill reduced from £1300 to £360, seems a good bet. Anyone know of any existing sites like this?

Building decent homes really doesn't add a lot to the cost of a new build.

Zero need to do it over here though so the extra money just taken as profit by the developers.

Some people do seem to be starting to do it though, like your link above and this place

http://www.coventry.gov.uk/news/article/532/leading_councillor_visits_uks_first_passivhaus_eco_estate_the_future_of_uk_housebuilding

A lot of the developments I come across though are build to rent.

I love this development up in Scotland, and it's deemed 'affordable' although haven't seen prices about

http://www.urbanrealm.com/news/2489/Tigh-Na-Cladach_launch_marks_first_affordable_Passivhaus_homes.html

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There are non trivial problems with these developments. I remember reading about a disastrous one where the biomass boilers turned into an expensive white elephant, and all the residents ended up using electric fan heaters instead. Even a cursory glance at Google indicates similar problems with many such developments. All of the really good bits end up not working or not being done. In this case, the allotments will be built over (spare land...), the biomass will break and the insulation won't be up to scratch in the depths of winter. For a developer, no cars = increased housing density, which they will love. I wouldn't buy a place that did not have car parking outside or underneath.

You don't need to go hair shirt and all out to save energy. We are planning major work to our place at the moment - over specified insulation and loads of south facing glass will slash energy use. While we've got the digger in, we'll drop in another 20k litres of rainwater collection. Unfortunately for the legions of "environmental consultants", we won't need their clever gadgets in order to do this.

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So these are branded 'eco homes'.

The obvious flaw here seems to be built in the middle of nowhere, not near any amenties, shops or public transport and next to a main road that seems to be for their mode of travel.

'eco' should only be used where it takes in an holistic town planning design approach. Not just no cars, but, like London, no need for cars.

http://www.oldham.gov.uk/press/article/508/st_marys_development_wins_major_regeneration_award

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WTF is the point of biomass boilers and other unnecessary unreliable complications?

You can insulate and seal the house when it's good-quality prefab, then use a double-flow ventilation system for fresh air and minimal heat loss, combined with a heat pump and some underfloor heating it costs pennies to run and a few PV panels on the roof plus a solar thermal for hot water will more than offset the electricity consumed, the house will end up a net producer.

These houses are being built everywhere now in Switzerland and Germany, why not in the UK?

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These houses are being built everywhere now in Switzerland and Germany, why not in the UK?

Assuming they cost more to build (even if it's just a couple of percent), what's the point in building them here? The (artificially) scarce resource here is the land, once you've got that why do anything that reduces your profit margins, and I can't imagine building these houses here would add anything to the top line, as most people just aren't aware they're getting peddled shite houses.

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There are non trivial problems with these developments.

... "these developments"? A generalisation that smells of the gutter press.

When they're cocked up, yes. I've heard the same story as you.

But I don't think we have enough information to tell whether the Bickleigh developers will do a competent job.

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WTF is the point of biomass boilers and other unnecessary unreliable complications?

You can insulate and seal the house when it's good-quality prefab, then use a double-flow ventilation system for fresh air and minimal heat loss, combined with a heat pump and some underfloor heating it costs pennies to run and a few PV panels on the roof plus a solar thermal for hot water will more than offset the electricity consumed, the house will end up a net producer.

These houses are being built everywhere now in Switzerland and Germany, why not in the UK?

My friends have an old barn conversion, with solar PV generating more energy than they use.

Even in this season, when the weather is average or better.

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WTF is the point of biomass boilers and other unnecessary unreliable complications?

You can insulate and seal the house when it's good-quality prefab, then use a double-flow ventilation system for fresh air and minimal heat loss, combined with a heat pump and some underfloor heating it costs pennies to run and a few PV panels on the roof plus a solar thermal for hot water will more than offset the electricity consumed, the house will end up a net producer.

These houses are being built everywhere now in Switzerland and Germany, why not in the UK?

The answer to your last question is that the volume builders have the system stitched up and they don't want to build these houses, because it would affect their profits.

The housebuilders have been lobbying the governments in Cardiff and Westminster to scrap their code on sustainable homes.

(Don't know about Edinburgh.)

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The answer to your last question is that the volume builders have the system stitched up and they don't want to build these houses, because it would affect their profits.

The other answer to that is, look at our respective histories since 1945. Germany and Switzerland building good quality, while UK has a perma-crisis and a new wave of "low cost" jerry-built houses about once a decade.

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The answer to your last question is that the volume builders have the system stitched up and they don't want to build these houses, because it would affect their profits.

The housebuilders have been lobbying the governments in Cardiff and Westminster to scrap their code on sustainable homes.

(Don't know about Edinburgh.)

The house builders don't compete against each other to provide quality homes. If they did there would be an incentive to provide the highest quality homes at the lowest possible price.

Instead they build an extremely limited number of extremely expensive houses and wait for someone desperate enough to come along and buy.

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My friends have an old barn conversion, with solar PV generating more energy than they use.

Even in this season, when the weather is average or better.

Except for after about 5pm when they're generating nothing...

:)

Yes I know what you actually mean.

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We've just put internal insulation on all of our external facing walls and 270mm in the loft. Wood burning stove in the lounge. It's well cosy now.

We have PV and an imerson too - which means a tank of piping hot water most days up until October (even now the chill is off it). Working from home means I'm around to make use of the electricity generated.

It's an old stone built cottage, but it should be comfortable and cheap enough through the winter (particularly once we stop the penetrating damp in a couple of places).

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My friends have an old barn conversion, with solar PV generating more energy than they use.

Even in this season, when the weather is average or better.

For the all-electric and solar houses I was talking about, the PV really will generate more overall energy than is used.

For a barn conversion it's difficult to see how this would be achievable without spending a fortune unless they don't heat it - more electricity than they use, maybe, or maybe the tax-on-non-homeowners sorry feed-in-tariff makes it financially worth more than the energy used, but that's not the same thing at all..

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The house builders don't compete against each other to provide quality homes. If they did there would be an incentive to provide the highest quality homes at the lowest possible price.

Instead they build an extremely limited number of extremely expensive houses and wait for someone desperate enough to come along and buy.

To be fair big builders and people developing houses to sell aren't that great in Switzerland, but most people building a house get the land first then shop around now, and the fancy high-tech German prefabs are catching on.

If local authorities really wanted high-tech homes in the UK, they'd sell land to private developers, maximum of one each, with super-high efficiency standards, let's say the house must produce more overall energy than is used, including sewage processing, this is a very difficult target to meet but private developers would do it.

Edited by swissy_fit

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.. "these developments"? A generalisation that smells of the gutter press.

When they're cocked up, yes. I've heard the same story as you.

But I don't think we have enough information to tell whether the Bickleigh developers will do a competent job.

I have no idea whether these guys will **** up, but I have seen a lot of stories about similar shiny promises not working out as well as planned.

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