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Fishleys Passivhaus, Herefordshire

The Fishleys Passivhaus is a three bedroom detached house built on the site of an old barn within the clients’ Herefordshire garden. The construction of this detached timber frame home, designed by Architype and built by main contractor Mike Whitfield Construction Ltd, began in 2016 and achieved Passivhaus certification in March 2017. 

The home was designed in close consultation with the clients, taking a sensitive approach by making the most of the views and the clients’ established garden, and through choosing a range of natural materials.

21°’s PROGRESSION triple glazed timber windows and doors and PAUL Novus 300 MVHR system were specified for the project.


The project was built with a timber frame construction, insulated with Warmcel recycled newspaper insulation. The orientation of the building was a key consideration in terms of Passivhaus performance as well as taking advantage of views and woodland setting of the house. 

To help achieve the Passivhaus standard the building was orientated due south. The main block was positioned in the optimum location for solar gain with the main facade facing south. It was important that the house had a close relationship with the woodland. To achieve this, the ground floor study area was designed to protrude from the house into the woodland to tuck into the trees. The block also wraps around towards the South to enclose the garden space.

Efforts were also made to achieve a lifetime accessible home by locating the study on the ground floor, with the potential to being converted to a bedroom later on. This had the added bonus of making the first floors smaller than the ground floor, minimising the impact of the building mass on the landscape. 

Energy performance

  • Airtightness 0.13 ACH @ 50 Pascals
  • Space Heating  Demand: 13 kWh/m2/year
  • Thermal Energy Load: 9 W/m2
  • Primary Energy Demand: 88 kWh/m2/year

Triple glazed timber windows and doors

PROGRESSION triple glazed timber Passivhaus-certified windows were specified for the project. The windows are central to taking advantage of views and the house’s natural setting. The large windows in the living space means that on entering the house there are immediate direct views through the building to the garden. The South and East facades were designed to open directly onto the gardens.

MVHR mechanical ventilation with heat recovery

21° designed, supplied and commissioned MVHR system on the project, comprising a PAUL Novus 300 MVHR unit, with rigid spiral wound steel ducting

We were happy with the recommendation from our M & E consultant for the MVHR system from 21° and were confident in the quality of the product.

Matthew Hayes

The MVHR system is very quiet and the ducting system does not generate any noticeable noise. The unit itself is tucked out of the way.

Liz Hills - Client


The house has now been comfortably occupied for over two years and is the subject of ongoing monitoring by the clients, with details being shared in their comprehensive blog on the subject.

It was great to work with 21° on this project. We found them very helpful and knowledgeable.

Matthew Hayes

Project details



Case Study


Life changing homes