Portree Passivhaus: A self-build mission to create an energy efficient home

Self-building some of the UK’s most energy efficient homes appears to be a mission of couple Mike Coe and Lizzie Stoodley.

Known for building one of the UK’s most energy-efficient homes, The Cropthorne Autonomous House, the couple have now moved from the autonomous house in Worcestershire to their latest project – a new ultra low-energy self-build house on the Isle of Skye.

The driving force for the design of couple’s first self-build, The Cropthorne Autonomous House, was that the house should have minimal impact on the environment and should obtain everything it needs from the land around it. Hence the house has neither mains drainage nor mains water; it is instead equipped with a rainwater harvesting system and composting toilets.

The house, which was constructed in 1994 using the Passivhaus Planning Package, cost under £155,000 to build. Passivhaus buildings provide a high level of comfort for occupants while using very little energy for heating and cooling.

Mike Coe and Lizzie Stoodley are planning to use the same method of construction for their new house in Portree. The home, Portree Passivhaus, will have a thermally massive central core that will absorb the heat of the sun in the warmer months and give that heat back slowly into the winter.

The below video follows Mike Coe and Lizzie Stoodley’s story from their journey into constructing their first self-build to their recent move to the Highlands of Scotland, where they are in the process of their second-build.

Mike Coe said: “Triple-glazed windows, meticulous airtightness detailing, masses of insulation and an efficient mechanical ventilation system with heat recovery will all help to keep the house at a comfortable temperature throughout the year.

“Like The Autonomous House, this house will be ‘upside-down’, with bedrooms on the lower floor and the living areas upstairs. This works very well as it means the bedrooms stay cooler in the summer and the living areas are warmer in the winter (although the temperature in a well-built passivhaus stays fairly even throughout).”

Portree Passivhaus

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief @rosamedea


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