Project Details

Client : FORCE, Forum for Constructing Excellence, Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, Orbit Heart of England

Value : Circa £270k

Contractor : Beattie Passive

Code For Sustainable Homes Assessor : Gregg Woodall Associates

Passive Haus Consultant : Encraft


Project Description

The design and construction of two environmentally friendly homes, in Canley, Coventry.  This particularly scheme was lead by FORCE, the Forum for Constructinge Excellence in Coventry and Warwickshire, heavily supported and guided by our Office.

‘In June 2009, FORCE asked industry leaders to help them to clarify what would constitute an ‘energy efficient’ home.  The responses were several and varied, but none offer direct guidance, at grass admins level. FORCE therefore decided to lead by example, and began to design and construct an exemplar home in Coventry, to demonstrate energy efficient construction and use.’ (Extract from Presentation given to FORCE by Dhiran Vagdia, 24’th June 2010).

FORCE began building relationships and establishing partnerships, which, in the latter part of 2010, meant that the scheme had become defined, established and funded, in-part, by Orbit Heart of England Housing Association.

Project partners then moved on to include FORCE (Forum for Constructing Excellence), Orbit Heart of England Housing Group, the Homes and Communities Agency, Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, Coventry University and Coventry City Council.

The scheme proposal includes the construction of two detached houses, one to the Code 6 standard of the Code for Sustainable Homes, and one to the German Passiv Haus standard.

The Code for Sustainable Homes (CSH) is an environmental assessment method for rating and certifying the performance of new homes.  The CSH covers nine categories of sustainable design; Energy and CO2 emissions, Water, Materials, Surface Water Run-off, Waste, Pollution, Health and Wellbeing , Management and Ecology.

In contrast, Passive Haus is an energy performance standard, ensuring that the house has an excellent thermal performance, exceptional air-tightness, and is ventilated with efficient mechanical ventilation. This project aims to help the sub-region’s construction sector understand the technical, economical and practical challenges faced in developing a better approach to home building in this country. Parallel outcomes of this project include stimulation and development of the sub-region’s green technologies sector, increasing public awareness, and ensuring best practice.


Client Testimonial

“The services of Vagdia & Holmes, Chartered Architects, in my experience, are professional; they have a very high level of architectural expertise, excellent project management skills, are accommodating and friendly. Dhiran has demonstrated a high level of knowledge and creative solutions about both the architectural and technological aspects of sustainable construction during the Coventry Eco House Project. He has a natural sense and the right approach to communicating and sharing layout design and information. He is hugely motivational and enabling; we received outstanding feedback from our residents and political members when he spoke at a City Council public meeting. Dhiran is one of the best speakers I have heard for helping the community understand complex subject of Eco Homes and the different standards.  I would strongly recommend him and his firm.”

Inderjit Kaur, Major Projects Community Engagement Officer, Coventry City Council, FORCE Coventry Eco Homes Project Board Member, (2010).


Resident Testimonials

Local residents speak about the early stages of the project;

“Very impressed that someone has come round, in person, to get people involved.”

“There were always houses there, but then they got demolished. They kept saying they were going to put more houses up that was ages ago, so it’s about time.”

“Very happy about the development.”  

“Very interested in the project.”  (2010).


Awards and Publications

Builders and Engineer Awards 2013   |   Shortlisted in the Sustainable Project of the Year 2013 Award

Constructing Excellence Awards 2014   |   Shortlisted in the Integration and Collaborative Working Category (Event Brochure)

Article Featured in “Innovate”, Coventry University’s Research Magazine   |   “Building Better Homes”, by Katie Southwell, Coventry University, Issue 15 Summer 2014

UK Passivhaus Awards 2014   |   Winner in the Cost and Build-ability Category (You Tube Clip)


As-Built and Occupied Data (todate):

As part of the submission for the recent UK Passivhaus Awards 2014, the following data was provided by Encraft, based on the occupancy since October 2013;

  • Treated Floor Area: 74.9m2
  • Construction Cost: £1,147m2
  • Primary Energy Demand: 107 kWh/m2.yr
  • Heating Demand: 12 kWh/m2.yr
  • Heating & Cooling Load: Heating 10 W/m2, No cooling.
  • Air pressure result: 0.54 ach @50Pa.

Client Testimonial

“I have worked with Vagdia and Holmes in a number of different contexts, including construction best practice events, knowledge transfer programmes and as a Client body. In all respects, I have found them to be delivery orientated, efficient and dedicated to the tasks at hand. I would, and have, recommended this company to a number of colleagues and industry contacts.” John Barnham, Head of Sustainable Investment, Orbit Heart of England (2013)