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Fraser Millar Launches NI’s Second Passivhaus Development Worth £30M

Pioneering Property Developer Breaks New Ground and Challenges Current Construction Principles 

PIONEERS of Passivhaus design, a globally recognised construction method ensuring robust energy efficiency, Belfast-based property developer, Fraser Millar, has officially launched Northern Ireland’s second large scale residential Passivhaus Certified development worth £30m.

Located on the Comber Road in Carryduff, Beaufort Green is the latest development released by Fraser Millar following the success of the company’s first Passive house development, Lancaster Park, in south Belfast. 

A mainstay in the European housing market for the last 30 years, the Passivhaus model was created by leading physicist Dr Wolfgang Feist and refers to dwellings that have been constructed to meet rigorous energy efficiency criteria, which according to John Carrigan, a Director at Fraser Millar, is far superior to the current principles of construction in Northern Ireland.

Unlike any other property developer in the region, Fraser Millar’s Passivhaus developments are constructed to meet EPC A rating standards and are strictly assessed on how they perform.

“Passivhaus standards are not only setting a new benchmark for energy efficiency and sustainability in the housing market but the criteria for Passive house certification significantly exceeds Northern Ireland’s current building regulations to the ultimate benefit of our homeowners,” John explained.

“A first for Northern Ireland, our buildings boast an EPC A rating, due to their stringent design and high-quality construction, before adding the benefits of PV solar panels whereas many other new low energy housing developments would actually be B rated properties but record A rating because of the addition of solar panels. Additionally, our passive homes are essentially airtight, ensuring that over 90% of the heat generated within the home, stays in the home. In terms of airtightness, the Passive House Low Energy Building (LEB) standard is 1ACH, however recent results show that our Passivhaus designed homes are consistently 0.6 and below as opposed to typical new build airtightness measures of between 4 and 6 ACH.

“Our homes also offer Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery that provides continuously filtered, warmed fresh air that maintains comfortable temperatures all year round, which is beneficial for those with asthma and allergies, with minimal requirement for additional heating or cooling and no reliance on fossil fuel burning boilers.

“Standard assessment procedure (SAP) calculations have shown that our Lancaster Park houses are contributing net zero tonnes of carbon dioxide per annum, whereas a typical low-energy home with a fossil fuel burner contributes six metric tonnes per year.”

With planning permission for 74 detached and semi-detached properties and eight different house types to choose from, 13 houses have initially been released with over a quarter either agreed or under offer. First completions are estimated for late 2024.

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“We believe we are also the only property developers in Northern Ireland that collects monthly data to monitor the energy usage of our passive homes,” John continued. “So far, we have received excellent feedback from our homeowners in Lancaster Park and the data demonstrates that our passive homes are showing an energy performance slightly below the designed projections compared to other typical new homes that are performing, according to recent studies, at nearly double their design projections. This demonstrates that Passive houses do what it says on the tin, which can result in considerably lower utility bills for the homeowner. 

“We do hope to see sustainable building standards – like Passivhaus – becoming more commonplace in Northern Ireland, similar to Scotland where all new residential buildings must be designed using passive house principles. At Fraser Millar, we have cemented ourselves as the industry trailblazers, paving the way for a revolutionised way of living that is both better for the environment and for the health of occupants.

“There is no doubt that the wider Northern Ireland housing industry is grappling with challenges and claims of low energy, however with Passivhaus principles, the local housing sector has the potential to be not only completely revolutionised but truly energy efficient. Passive house is not just another term like low energy, sustainable, eco or green, to be used by developers to help sell their properties. It is a globally recognised standard with very exacting criteria that must be achieved before the Passive House Institute in Germany will issue a pass certificate.”

Multi award-winning, the Fraser Millar team scooped Developer of the Year 2023 at the PropertyPal Awards.

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For more information on Fraser Millar and it’s Passivhaus developments, visit the website: www.frasermillar.co.uk.

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