The completion of Glasgow’s first Passivhaus development for social rent has been celebrated with an opening ceremony hosted by Shettleston Housing Association.
The new development at Cunningham House was formally opened today (30 August) by Councillor Chris Cunningham, former Director of Shettleston Housing Association, who pioneered the project prior to his retirement in 2017.
19 new homes for older people have been provided in this innovative project that combines the construction of a modern five storey Passivhaus tower with the sensitive restoration and conversion of the 19th century Carntyne Old Parish Church on Shettleston Road.
Each of the 13 flats constructed within the old Church building has an individual, bespoke design that reflects its relationship with the existing stone structure. Every home has a very individual aspect, whether through the restored lancet windows or through the new high-performance glazing into the residents’ courtyard. All homes benefit from high levels of thermal insulation to augment the cosy ‘sandstone coat’ provided by the existing church structure.
The former vestry building attached to the church has been converted into a self-contained three bedroom house and has been constructed to meet the same exacting energy efficiency requirements.
A light, fully-glazed link corridor connects the existing church to the new, five-storey Passivhaus tower that has been constructed on the site of the former church hall. The simple palette of materials used for the new building respects those in the older structure and a modest cross in relief on the front façade reflects the former use of the site.
Five two-bedroom homes are provided in the new tower. All five flats have been designed and constructed to Passivhaus standard and benefit from high levels of thermal insulation, triple glazing and Mechanical Ventilation and Heat Recovery. It is expected that tenants will see a significant reduction in fuel costs in their new homes and the Association will monitor the building’s performance over the coming years.
Gillian Johnston, Chair of Shettleston Housing Association said: “Carntyne Church has been a prominent landmark in the East End for more than a century and the Association has been delighted to breathe new life into the building with this fantastic development. All of the new homes are built to an extremely high standard of energy efficiency and the Association is proud to deliver the first Passivhaus standard social rent homes in the city. Our tenants will reap the rewards of this through lower heating bills and improved comfort and we wish them all the very best in their new homes.”
Councillor Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “Cunningham House is without doubt a landmark in how we build homes in Glasgow. These are the first properties in the city to use the Passivhaus design – a pioneering standard of house building used in parts of Europe and North America which require very little energy for heating and cooling. The extremely high construction standards will bring a host of benefits to residents, including lower fuel bills, improved air quality, a more comfortable living environment and reduced CO2 emissions. I have always said that climate and social justice should go hand in hand and by tackling climate change and fuel poverty, Passivhaus does just that. I’m delighted this Shettleston Housing Association development could be supported through our Affordable Housing Supply programme and we will see many more housing developments in Glasgow using Passivhaus in the years ahead.”
The location of Cunningham House in the centre of the Shettleston community, combined with its energy efficiency credentials make it an ideal development for older people. Residents will have easy access to local facilities and community activities and will benefit from the enhanced housing management support provided by the Association’s Retirement Housing Service.
New residents were formally welcomed to their homes at the completion ceremony. Mr and Mrs Dunlop, who moved from a privately-rented home, are delighted with their new home and Mr Dunlop said: “My wife and I have moved about a lot due to work commitments and when we retired we wished to move back to and settle in the east end due to falling in love with both the area and its people. We feel both blessed and delighted with our new home at Cunningham House.”