Paul Williamson, Beattie Passive Director and the Oxford region’s chair, hosted a visit in March to Beattie Passive’s Graven Hill site. Three members, Carole Tracey, Ian Wood and Sandy Hickey joined Paul’s tour. Fully PPE’d, Paul showed the group two stick-built houses at the early stages of construction: one a bare timber structure, the other with its frame clad, awaiting pumped Ecobead Platinum insulation and Rationel (triple glazed, argon gas filled) windows and doors. Both houses are being constructed by The Toolshed, a social enterprise organisation which assists young people from a variety of backgrounds to start a career in construction Toolshed have also invested in the Beattie Passive Flying Factory model to manufacture and deliver Passivhaus homes using their own workforce.
The group visited plots at different stages of completion, some stick-built, some small panel and some volumetric pods. We examined the MVHR unit and ducting and Paul explained that a Beattie Passive house needs no internal load bearing walls, unless the span is greater than 6.4m. Identical-looking homes can have different internal layouts depending upon the client’s brief, which can be easily altered later with no structural impact. The group was impressed by the extra-tall entry doors and 2.5m high ceilings, which immediately give a sense of space, particularly in smaller plots.
Carole, who joined us on our first visit to Graven Hill early last year, noted the speed of development.