Here we are again, chatting to another one of our brilliant clients. Today we are with Kevin, the owner of a beautiful 4-bedroom home built on the Isle of Man. Kevin wanted all the things PassivHaus offered, but wanted to stay in keeping with the traditional Manx Vernacular style.
Beattie Passive: Hello Kevin, thank you for letting us visit you in your beautiful home.
Kevin: No worries, why wouldn’t I want to show it off? It is amazing!
Beattie Passive: Your story started with a traditional build design but you changed it to PassivHaus, why did you decide to do that?
Kevin: Well, it was James Vickers at Complete Construction Services (CCS) who suggested changing the home to PassivHaus. They had been at the Beattie Passive Training Academy and were able to offer the Beattie Passive build system to us. After a little bit of research and a little bit of convincing to get my wife on board, we went for it. The planners here on the island were so impressed with the concept and design, they pushed the planning through in just a week!
Beattie Passive: Why did you decide to build your own home, rather than buy?
Kevin: We have always wanted to build our own home. We were fortunate enough to own a piece of land on the South of the island that had an existing ruin. We knocked that down and built our PassivHaus.
Beattie Passive: What was your first impression of PassivHaus when James Vickers from CCS suggested it?
Kevin: Having an engineering background, I was interested from the start. I did have to convince my wife, who was a bit more hesitant.
Beattie Passive: So, how did you find the design process, working with Beattie Passive, SNX and James Vickers?
Kevin: It worked very well. We already had traditional designs drawn up, but Beattie Passive and the team here could change these quickly and easily. We had no concerns about the change in construction method and it didn’t add any time onto the works.
Beattie Passive: What was the most impressive thing about the build process?
Kevin: The attention to detail. Everything was 100% accurate throughout the whole build. Every joint and every seal. The speed and onsite manufacture were about the same as a traditional build, but the quality and level of workmanship by CCS was impressive.
Beattie Passive: What is it that you are most looking forward to in your new home?
Kevin: Well, as it’s a PassivHaus, we are looking forward to seeing how much energy we save. This is our first proper family home, having lived in a small flat previously. As well as that, being an engineer meant that the technical side interested me from the start.
Beattie Passive: What would you say your experience has been like so far, now that you are living in the home?
Kevin: The noise level reductions are so noticeable. We live in a really windy spot overlooking Port St Mary and the triple glazing and overall insulation has been a revelation! Furthermore, the solar panels provide us with the hottest water ever and we’ve noticed the air quality feels so much better inside the home.
Beattie Passive: Has there been anything that has surprised you about living in a PassivHaus?
Kevin: The overall performance and warmth of the house stays at a constant throughout the year, regardless of the season. Despite looking like a traditional Manx cottage from the outside, the PassivHaus element takes it to another level.
Beattie Passive: Is there anything else you would like to tell us?
Kevin: You know, I had high expectations to start with, but this system has surpassed all those expectations. I knew my bills would be lower than a traditional home, but I was incredibly surprised at the quarterly bill I received for the most demanding Winter months. We’ve also got to look forward to when our solar thermal system takes over the production of all the hot water. Living here now, I don’t understand why all homes are not built like this.