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Build to PassivHaus Standards with Ancon TeploTies

Steel Farm. Photo courtesy of LEAP
Steel Farm. Photo courtesy of LEAP

Steel Farm

Owners of a plot of land near Hexham in the North Pennine Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (ANOB) wanted to build a decent, comfortable and energy efficient home. They discovered the PassivHaus standard and one of its leading advocates in the UK, Mark Siddall of LEAP (Lovingly Engineered Architectural Process) , and they set about their dream to build ‘Steel Farm’.

Planning restrictions dictated that the façade be natural stone and of traditional appearance so insulated cavity walls were chosen for the main structure. Ancon TeploTie basalt fibre wall ties were used to restrain the 300mm wide cavity walls and were insulated with mineral wool.

With a thermal conductivity of just 0.7W/mK, TeploTie can be excluded from U-value calculations to BS EN ISO 6946. Available in a range of diameters and lengths to suit cavities from 50mm to 450mm, TeploTies are BBA-approved.

Mark Siddall of LEAP Architects commented on why TeploTies were chosen for this low energy project:

TeploTies were chosen for three main reasons. Firstly, compared to two part stainless steel ties, they minimise heat loss. This means, to achieve the same U-value, less insulation was needed. Secondly, because we needed less insulation, the cavity wall could be narrower than it would have been. Finally, because the ties are BBA approved they could be specified with much more confidence than some of the others on the market. I should add, on site the stone masons found the ties very easy to install.

Passivhaus or Passive House is the fastest growing energy performance standard in the world, its key principles surround excellent thermal performance, airtightness and mechanical ventilation. The Passivhaus standard can be applied not only to residential dwellings but also to commercial, industrial and public buildings.

In February 2015, the 178 square metre detached house became the first certified PassivHaus in Northumberland and the first cavity wall PassivHaus in the North East of England. This project demonstrates that traditional cavity wall construction suits the PassivHaus design methodology.

Steel Farm. Photo courtesy of LEAP
Steel Farm. Photo courtesy of LEAP

To learn more about the project you can watch an in-depth 3-part documentary about Steel Farm at . The case study reveals how to successfully design and construct bespoke and custom homes to Passivhaus Standards, without breaking the bank.

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