Glasgow’s first Passivhaus development for social rent opens

The development at Cunningham House, which is Glasgow’s first Passivhaus development for social rent, was formally opened on Friday 30th of August.

Glasgow's first Passivhaus development for social rent opens

Carntyne Old Parish Church

The development has seen the creation of 19 new homes for older people. The project combines the construction of a modern five-storey Passivhaus tower with the sensitive restoration and conversion of the 19th century Carntyne Old Parish Church on Shettleston Road.

All the thirteen flats built in the old Church building has an individual, bespoke design that reflects its relationship with the existing stone structure. Every home has a very individual aspect, whether through the restored lancet windows or through the new high-performance glazing into the residents’ courtyard. All homes benefit from high levels of thermal insulation to augment the cosy ‘sandstone coat’ provided by the existing church structure.

The former vestry building attached to the church has been renovated into a self-contained three-bedroom house and has been constructed to meet the same exacting energy efficiency requirements.

A light, fully-glazed link corridor connects the existing church to the new, five-storey Passivhaus tower that has been constructed on the site of the former church hall. The simple palette of materials used for the new building respects those in the older structure and a modest cross in relief on the front façade reflects the former use of the site.

Five two-bedroom homes are included in the new tower. All five flats have been designed and constructed to Passivhaus standard and benefit from high levels of thermal insulation, triple glazing and Mechanical Ventilation and Heat Recovery. It is expected that tenants will experience a significant reduction in fuel costs in their new homes. The Association has said it will monitor the building’s performance over the coming years.

Glasgow's first Passivhaus development for social rent opens

Shettleston chairperson Gillian Johnston with Cllr Chris Cunningham opening the site

The completion was marked with an opening ceremony, where Chris Cunningham, former director of Shettleston Housing Association, who spearheaded the project before his retirement in 2017.

Gillian Johnston, chair of Shettleston Housing Association, said: “Carntyne Church has been a prominent landmark in the East end for more than a century and the Association has been delighted to breathe new life into the building with this fantastic development. All of the new homes are built to an extremely high standard of energy efficiency and the Association is proud to deliver the first Passivhaus standard social rent homes in the city. Our tenants will reap the rewards of this through lower heating bills and improved comfort and we wish them all the very best in their new homes.”

New residents were officially welcomed to their homes at the ceremony. Mr and Mrs Dunlop, who moved from a privately rented home are delighted with their new home.

Mr Dunlop said: “My wife and I have moved about a lot due to work commitments and when we retired we wished to move back to and settle in the east end due to falling in love with both the area and its people.  We feel both blessed and delighted with our new home at Cunningham House.”

Councillor Susan Aitken, leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “Cunningham House is, without doubt, a landmark in how we build homes in Glasgow. These are the first properties in the city to use the Passivhaus design– a pioneering standard of house building used in parts of Europe and North America which require very little energy for heating and cooling.

“The extremely high construction standards will bring a host of benefits to residents, including lower fuel bills, improved air quality, a more comfortable living environment and reduced C02 emissions. I have always said that climate and social justice should go hand in hand and by tackling climate change and fuel poverty Passivhaus does just that.

“I’m delighted this Shettleston Housing Association development could be supported through our Affordable Housing Supply Programme and we will see many more housing developments in Glasgow using Passivhaus in the years ahead.”

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