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Cre8 Barn- Stirley Community Farm

Location: Huddersfield, West Yorkshire
Completion Status: Completed October 2013 Occupancy: Occupied since October 2013
Architect: Design & build project led by Green Building Store (with architect Derrie O Sullivan) Consultant: Green Building Store, Other: Stuart McCormick, Structural Engineer; SGM structural engineers
Contractor: Green Building Company Client: Yorkshire Wildlife Trust
Certification: July 2014 Certifier: WARM
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Retrofit WINNER: UK Passivhaus Awards 2015. Retrofit with a super-insulated timber frame structure built inside the existing building to preserve the appearance  of the cow byre.

The Cre8 Barn project is an innovative barn conversion to the EnerPHit standard, featuring a ‘box within a box’ structure (inner timber frame within outer masonry barn) which has transformed a derelict cow byre into a flexible, all-purpose educational centre and space. The timber frame construction not only ensures thermal performance, but also helps provide structural stability to the outer masonry walls. An innovative thermal bridge-free wall connector technique utilised low thermal conductivity wall connectors between the inner timber wall and outer masonry wall. The risk of moisture build up within the cavity was extensively addressed at the design stage and is now being monitored.

The building work has being undertaken by Green Building Store's construction division  Green Building Company, and has been project-led by Green Building Store Director Bill Butcher.

Minimising thermal bridging

  • The creation of the ‘box within the box’ structure inside the Cre8 Barn played a key role in minimising thermal bridges at the project. Being able to build a new timber I-joist structure within the old masonry walls meant that the design team had more control in keeping insulation continuous.
  • At the top and bottom of each timber wall panel a timber panel I-joist composite sole plate/ header plate was installed, comprising two 241mm timber joists for strength, but filled with 50mm of PUR, which acted like an ‘insulation sandwich’.
  • Rigid Compacfoam CF200 insulation was used under all door thresholds to create a stable threshold with minimal transfer of heat.
  • Customised basalt resin ‘wall connectors’ (with low thermal conductivity) were used between the outer masonry barn and inner timber frame structure.

Structural issues


  • The  super-insulated timber frame structure has been built inside the existing stone barn building, helping with energy efficiency and having the additional advantage of supporting and shoring up the original stone building.
  • To prevent any chance of moisture ingression from the outer masonry wall into the timber frame structure, the cavity between the masonry wall and timber frame is well ventilated. Ventilation bricks have been installed in the top and base of the masonry wall to ensure good air circulation. Each air brick has 7500mm2 free air movement. Leeds Beckett University’s Centre for the Built Environment has installed moisture measuring probes (HydroTrac sensors) at four points within the wall structure on both the south and north elevations of the barn. This research will help inform the continuing debate about the ventilation of cavities and the dangers of moisture ingression through masonry walls.


Further Information


Green Building Store

UK Passivhaus Awards 2015 Presentation

Presentation delivered by Chris Herring at International Passivhaus Conference 2014


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