The first Passivhaus on the Isle of Man, Corvalla is a single residential four bedroom cottage, built in a Manx vernacular style within a conservation area.

About this project

Corvalla, a Build It award winning 4 bed new build passive house, sitting high on the Howe Road above Port St. Mary with spectacular views to the coast and designed in a Manx vernacular style, is the most Energy Efficient house on the Isle of Man, through adoption of the multi-award winning, Beattie Passive system build. Adaptable to virtually any style or architectural design, the completed developmenthides a structure built to the highest system design methodology that even goes beyond Passivhaus standards, delivering a home that is so smartly insulated, design efficient and air tight, that a traditional type of central heating system is simply unnecessary.

The factory produced system was constructed entirely on the Isle of Man under the SNX license by Complete Construction’s Island based workforce, before being erected on site with all materials locally sourced wherever possible. The Beattie Passive system is all modelled in Revit, a Building Information Modelling software (BIM) that allows users to design a building, its structure and components in 3D, annotate the model with 2D drafting elements, and access building information from the building model's database. This allows fast on-site erection with minimal material wastage, as every component is itemised within the Revit design package for each unit.

Beattie Passive’s system offers full design flexibility whether commercial or residential, and is the first system in the UK to be awarded certification as a complete build system by the Passivhaus Institute in Germany. After multiple awards and accolades for their new build system as well as their TCosy retrofit system over the last few years, Beattie Passive has just won the 2017 Best Passive House Design Company UK Award at the Sustainable Building Awards.

The new build Beattie Passive system will reduce energy demand by up to 90% and provide a much healthier living environment than a traditional build property with the Mechanical Ventilation & Heat Recovery system incorporated in to the house structure, changing the air several times an hour. With far higher levels of fire safety, sound-proofing, thermal efficiency and air tightness than called for by Building Regulations, every single property must pass a rigorous testing programme to measure the thermal efficiency through a Thermographic survey, the air leakage through an Air Tightness Test and sound and noise levels through Acoustic testing when appropriate, as well as a dedicated structural survey. Every property must achieve the required standard in each instance to gain certification from Beattie Passive. Only a small step remains to a full zero carbon development which could be achieved through a solar PV installation for example.

Corvalla owner Kevin Kniveton says ‘My experience of my new passive system home has surpassed all my expectations. I knew that my utility bills would be a fraction of what I would ordinarily pay in a traditionally built home, but even I was surprised at how low my quarterly bills have been over the most demanding months. I just can’t understand why all homes are not built this way’

SNX and Complete Construction have regularly been recognised, both individually, and in collaboration at the Governments Annual Energy Awards for their major Private Sector ECO House developments in both contemporary and traditional styles, incorporating the very latest Renewable Technologies at every appropriate opportunity. It was a natural step therefore, to venture into Passive development and provide the Island with an ethical, cost effective option that reduces running costs vastly and delivers an even higher standard of performance and comfort level. 

The future would appear bright for further Passive developments in the Isle of Man, at least in the Private Sector where an understanding of the merits and true value of the system is now being recognised and acted upon. The opportunity is now there for the Isle of Man to create a cultural shift in acceptance and adoption of ethical construction which would both reduce the financial burden on tax payers, remove fuel poverty and establish a higher quality of living and working conditions for all concerned.

Ron Beattie, Chairman of Beattie Passive says ‘Beattie Passive are very pleased to see the first house delivered on the Island, and Corvalla is a great example of a successful partnership with SNX and Complete Construction Services. As a team we look forward to delivering many more high quality, Passivhaus homes across the Island.’

Whether it is working alongside local Architects and their clients, converting their designs and ideas in to the Beattie Passive system, or taking on a Design & Build package from the outset, the teams at CCS and SNX can provide the most future-proof, energy efficient home you could ever wish for without any sacrifice to comfort or practicality.

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