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Passivhaus Premium self-build set for TV debut

The subject of a forthcoming Grand Designs TV programme (airing next season), the Sheds is a contemporary two-storey self-build home aiming for Passivhaus Premium. Generating more energy that it requires, the Cotswolds house is currently under construction and features a wide range of construction materials and interfaces. 

The Sheds Passivhaus Premium

Key stats

Construction start: September 2020

Expected completion: Spring 2023

Aiming for: Passivhaus Premium

Treated floor area (TFA): 549.4 m2

The Sheds project aiming for Passivhaus Premium


The client purchased the site with outline planning consent, which included a requirement for Passivhaus, in place. The building is both large and complex in design, in order to achieve the architect’s aesthetic. This has posed significant challenges during construction, managing interfaces between major structural components while maintaining airtightness and continuity of insulation.

Duncan Eastland, Subadra Ltd 


Paragraph 80

The self-build home was granted planning permission under what is now National Planning Policy Framework NPPF paragraph 80 (and was then paragraph 55). Paragraph 80 is a planning policy that allows one-off homes to be built in the countryside if they are considered to: be truly outstanding or innovative, helping to raise the standards of design more generally in rural areas; reflect the highest standards in architecture; significantly enhance their immediate setting and be sensitive to the defining characteristics of the local area. Planning permission was awarded at the committee level, with unanimous support from all the committee members.

The Sheds project aiming for Passivhaus Premium


This is a well-considered scheme which draws inspiration from, whilst not seeking to mimic, the agricultural buildings found in the area.  This is a refreshing idea which introduces a new aesthetic and provides a better precedent for a larger house than local domestic architecture.  The architecture is sophisticated and distinctive.  The aspirations for sustainable use of energy and water are suitably ambitious for a paragraph 55 house but also appropriate for the site.

independent Design Review Panel, giving their opinion on the quality of the design

Predicted energy performance

 Space heating: 

15 kWh/m2.yr

 Heating load:

11 W/m2

 Primary energy demand: 

29 kWh/m2.yr

 Primary Energy Renewable Demand (PER): 

11 kWh/m2.yr 

 Primary Energy Renewable Generation: 

126 kWh/m2.yr



The Sheds is being constructed using a combination of steel and glulam frames on concrete raft foundations. The walls and roof are constructed from Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) with an additional external insulation wrapper and then clad with charred larch.  The roof is faced with raised seam metal with PV bonded directly to it.  The building has a glazed south facing façade and the shading strategy for this includes a large overhanging roof on the south façade combined with a brise soleil.


Key team

Architects:  Seymour Smith (Concept)

Atelier73 (Design Development)

Passivhaus Consultant: Subadra Ltd

Contractor: Subadra Ltd

Passivhaus certifier: Mead Consulting

The Sheds project aiming for Passivhaus Premium

We look forward to watching The Sheds project in next season's Grand Designs.  Discover more Passivhaus self-build schemes here, or better still, visit one in-person to get a first-hand experience at an upcoming Open Days site visit

Passivhaus Open Days Winter 2022


Further information

Passivhaus goes Personal

Passivhaus Open Days 2022: Winter Edition

Passivhaus Workshops 

How to build a Passivhaus

Previous PHT Story: The Sheds Passivhaus granted planning - 30 July 2014

15th August 2022

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