Green Building Store is now 21°

Passivhaus Veterinary Centre, Wigan

Vet and Passivhaus enthusiast Chris Copeman has built a newbuild Veterinary practice, which is aiming to meet the Passivhaus standard and has been designed by PYC group and built using an insulated timber frame structure provided by MBC Timber Frame.

21°s ULTRA and PERFORMANCE triple glazed timber windows & doors were chosen for the project and the MVHR system for the centre was designed, supplied and commissioned by 21°s MVHR team.


Chris himself undertook a retrofit project on his own house that has reached the Passivhaus standard and has also undertaken training to become a Passivhaus consultant. When planning a new building for his veterinary practice it was inevitable that he would consider building to the Passivhaus standard.

The veterinary centre comprises three consulting rooms leading off a reception space that reaches up to the roof of the two-storey building, 

The project was designed by PYC Group using Passivhaus Planning Package software, which calculates energy use of the building using everything from solar orientation and altitude to windows and wall make up. This information was then plugged into a spreadsheet that gives a figure of how much energy that building will use. The goal under Passivhaus guidelines is a building that uses just 15 kilowatt hours per metre squared per year (15 kWh/m2/year).

The timber frame structure was provided by MBC Timber Frame and insulated using Warmcel recycled cellulose insulation and no steel is used in the building structure. Using timber frame off-site construction speeded up the building process.

Bryn Veterinary Centre

Vet Chris Copeman built one of the first Passivhaus homes in the UK and now he has opened its first Passivhaus veterinary practice.

Within a week you’ve got a weather-tight building. It’s an incredibly fast building method.

Chris Copeman

The foundations of the building are made up of a passive raft which is a polystyrene raft laid down on to a sand blinding with a lip into which the reinforced concrete floor for the building is poured. The result is a concrete floor that is surrounded by insulation so there is minimal heat loss and thermal bridging from the ground floor.

The building achieved an airtightness of 0.33 ach and is currently awaiting Passivhaus certification.

The result is a near carbon neutral build footprint and a building that is 10 times more efficient, generates its own power and gives you full control of every aspect of the environment inside. It is a happy building, full of warm, natural materials, where staff, clients and their pets all seem to thrive.

Chris Copeman

MVHR heat recovery ventilation

Building to the Passivhaus standard means working to stringent levels of airtightness, which inevitably means that you need an MVHR heat recovery system. Green Building Store designed, supplied and commissioned the MVHR system for the project. A PAUL NOVUS 450 MVHR unit was specified, alongside galvanised rigid steel ducting.

The ventilation system at Bryn Veterinary Centre provides a controlled amount of ventilation to every room in the building and enables the veterinary centre to extract air from ‘wet’ rooms, such as operating rooms and kennel rooms, to create a healthy air flow and reduce the risk of infection. The heat exchanger within the MVHR system takes the heat out of the stale air being taken out of the building and passes it into the fresh air, without anything else being exchanged.

21° has a great reputation of providing MVHR for Passivhaus and low energy projects. They have supplied the MVHR in my own house and I knew that they create inaudible and highly efficient MVHR systems, so I chose them again for this project. By achieving high levels of airtightness you’ve got control of air within the building. A heat recovery ventilation system means you can supply and extract air from exactly where you want it in the building. In the current climate, we are all thinking about coronavirus, and we know viruses spread in the high and low humidity levels, so it helps to have an environmentally controlled building like this because we’ve got a controlled ventilation system. I can up ventilation levels if I’m worried about possible virus spread. I’ve got control over the atmosphere in this building.

Chris Copeman

Triple glazed timber windows and doors

Chris has previously chosen 21° triple glazed timber windows and doors on his own house. For the Bryn Veterinary Centre 21°s high performance PERFORMANCE and ULTRA range were chosen. All the windows in the centre are inward opening and the timber finish chosen was RAL 7003.

Having already experienced the comfort and performance of Green Building Store’s windows and doors in my own home, it was an easy and simple decision to opt for them for the veterinary practice. I have been very pleased with how the windows and doors are performing and I appreciate their role in helping us to meet Passivhaus requirements.

Chris Copeman

More information

Bryn Veterinary Centre

PYC Group

MBC Timber Frame



Case study


Passivhaus certification


Life changing homes