Case Study - Climate Energy Homes, London

Building for the Future

East London’s Largest Passive House Scheme

Project Name: Passive Close, Rainham, London Borough of Havering

Clients: Circle Housing

Main Contractor: Climate Energy Homes

Building Type: 51 new homes comprising of 8 three bedroom houses, 26 four bedroom houses, 1 four bedroom flat, 12 two bedroom flats and 4 one bedroom flats

Location: Rainham, East London

Location: Rainham, East London

Status: Completed January 2015

Building Use: Affordable rental homes

Construction Time: 14 Months

Airtightness: 0.5 ac/h @50 Pa

MVHR Products Used: Zehnder ComfoAir 200 Luxe PH

Climate Energy
Climate Energy


The new 51 unit development in Rainham is a high efficiency and affordable scheme that was delivered by Climate Energy Homes on behalf of Circle Housing/Old Ford Housing Association. It has been built to both Passive House Certification and Level 4 of the Code for Sustainable Homes, using the ecoTECH Passive Build System. The completed homes are being leased to occupiers under the affordable rental programme.


One of the main pressures on social housing schemes is providing affordable solutions, not only for construction methods and sustainability, but also in relation to the eventual occupiers’ heating and energy usage. Working with developers, contractors and local authorities, Climate Energy Homes regularly produces warm and efficient homes that cost less than 50 pence per day to heat, including hot water provision.

Low energy solutions for the social sector

Utilising the ecoTECH Fabric First Build System and the ecoTECH Passivhaus Build System, East London’s largest Passive House scheme delivered affordable construction of low energy, sustainable homes assembled from high quality materials at a cost equal to a traditional build. Additionally, faster assembly meant the homes were erected to be weather tight within one day and fully completed ready for trades and services within one week per house, minimising the impact on the environment whilst meeting Government objectives for increased building in the capital.

Air quality and comfort

Climate Energy Homes selected Zehnder UK to deliver the heat recovery system (MVHR) to the 8 three bedroom houses of the 51 properties in the development. Meeting stringent Passive House objectives for performance and efficiency, Zehnder’s range of Passivhaus Accredited ComfoAir heat recovery units provide consistent and comfortable uniform internal temperatures and excellent air quality, whilst minimising energy use for heating and cooling; resulting in significantly reduced energy bills.

Achieving airtightness

It is predicted that residents living in a three bedroom home could see their energy costs slashed from £1,240 per year to around £350.

ComfoAir 200 Luxe PH

MVHR considerations and specifications

The Zehnder CA200LuxePH unit was selected for this development due to its exceptional performance for heat recovery efficiency and electric power consumption in line with the exacting Passive House Certification. Additionally, the unit met local Building Regulations for Approved Document F minimum flow rate requirements for the plot sizes and came with a pre-heater (CA200 internal pre-heater, Novus external ISO defroster), which means the unit remains in perfect balance with external temperatures even down to -15 degrees Celsius.

The units were housed in cupboards and used semi-rigid ducting to distribute the air, which was perfect for the joists being used and made them simpler to install utilising its low velocity ducting approach lending to low noise requirements within rooms.

Passive House Certified

Read more about:

ComfoAir 200 HRV >


“This new scheme in Rainham has proved that it is possible to build affordable homes that are also sustainable, and provide occupiers with numerous benefits; both health and financial” comments CEO, Christine Hynes, at Climate Energy Homes.

“Ventilation is a crucial aspect of the Passive House build in ensuring both comfortable, quality air and heat efficiency so we were delighted to be partnering with MVHR Passive House experts, Zehnder. Working closely with their team, we were able to ensure that effective and efficient mechanical ventilation heat recovery solutions were provided for each style and size of property.”

Mike Ward, Group Director Property for Circle Housing, added:
“As well as delivering much needed affordable housing to the area, this scheme uses cutting edge technology to deliver tangible benefits to residents. “At Circle Housing we are passionate about helping people to be more financially resilient through these difficult economic times and we believe schemes like this one can play an important role in doing so. “We will be monitoring the results and feedback from the new residents to help us deliver more Passive House projects in the future.”

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