CLIMATE CHANGE: District heating scheme development proposed for Bonhill site

Peter Barry, Chief Officer of Housing & Employability, West Dunbartonshire Council.

Pictures by Bill Heaney

By Lauren Crooks

A future housing development site in Bonhill has been chosen for a new pilot scheme of Passivhaus energy efficient homes.

Innovative Passivhaus homes generally need 90% less energy for heating and hot water than standard buildings and so have very low running costs.

Through use of pioneering technology at building stage including enhanced insulation, air-tightness and solar power, the homes are able to retain heat from activities like cooking, using computers or showering.

These activities are then used to heat the home instead of a traditional central heating system.

At a meeting of the Housing and Communities Committee this week, members were told that the Pappert site was the optimum location to trial the development of Passivhaus in West Dunbartonshire.

Of the 26 homes currently being considered for the site, it is proposed that seven will be constructed with Passivhaus technology.

Those homes will be developed according to principles developed by the Passivhaus Institute in Germany, while another 10 will be built to the Silver Standard for Energy Efficiency as with all new homes in West Dunbartonshire, and 9 more will be net zero.

Proposals for the site will be subject to approval of a planning application.

Peter Barry, Chief Officer of Housing & Employability, said: “Our continued ambition around our new build programme is to ensure our homes enhance our residents’ sense of well-being. We can achieve this by delivering the highest quality energy efficiency standards, and reducing the running costs of our homes consistently and over a long period of time.

“This trial of Passivhaus is important to ensure we test our capacity to deliver these homes on a wider basis in the future. Our proposals will also see us meet ahead of target the requirements of the 2024 regulations in installing zero emission heating systems in our new build homes.”

During the meeting, three additional sites for future development of new homes were discussed – Willox Park in Dumbarton; Bank Street in Alexandria and the site of the former care home at Mount Pleasant, Old Kilpatrick.

 Willox Park Home in Dumbarton – the site has been earmarked for housing by the council.

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