New Leeds developer goes passive
A new property development company in the north-west is putting the passive house standard at the heart of its business. Leeds-based Pure Haus is currently embarking on its very first project, a scheme of two high-specification houses in Oakenshaw, Bradford that will be built to the passive house standard, and is designed by architects ArkleBoyce.
The two detached five-bedroom homes at Pure Meadows will be of timber frame construction, will be designed to “sensitively fit in with nature” and will feature a “high quality palette of contextual materials” including timber and stone cladding. The dwellings will also feature heat recovery ventilation and rainwater harvesting systems, while the site will boast natural, biodiversity-friendly landscaping.
The development of a passive house scheme in Bradford represents something of an unlikely destination for the business partners behind Pure Haus, who have a background as landlords in the buy-to-let sector, with a history of renovating and improving old properties before leasing them out, before later trying their hand at conventional property development.
Speaking to Passive House Plus, Pure Haus director Kevin Pratt says that learning about the Climate Innovation District in Leeds — a new sustainable, low energy urban neighbourhood in the city — convinced him and his partner David Bradley there might be a better way forward. Bradley then decided to attend the International Passive House Conference in Germany after hearing about the standard.
“The Passive Haus Institute had a huge influence on developing the company’s vision,” says Kevin Pratt. “We found that passive house principles were very consistent with the company’s own ethos of sustainability, quality, health and comfort. On return from the trip a lot of research went into establishing if it was commercially viable to build comfortable, sustainable, well-designed homes.”
He says the trip completely revolutionised how he and his partners wanted to do business. “The affect was so substantial we found ourselves promoting passive house to anyone who would listen. There was a new buzz within the company.” He says that Pure Haus have found the UK passive house community hugely supportive and helpful thus far, and welcomed the community's openness in sharing its knowledge and skills.
“Our builders have taken time to travel and see other sites under construction to learn a new skills. To say they are excited about timber framed housing and its potential would be an understatement.”
At the time of writing, Pure Haus was waiting on planning approval for their Pure Meadows development, while starting preparatory groundworks at the site in anticipation of a successful application. For more information see www.purehaus.co.uk.