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With rising gas prices and fossil fuel heating still adding to the nation’s emissions. Carole Titmuss, editor of Refurb Projects, looks at the latest renewable technology to heat ground-breaking Warwickshire homes

At Refurb Projects, we cover many renovations and new-builds that showcase cutting-edge technology and I’ve always been drawn to the stories and articles that seek to combine different systems for maximum results.

So when I received a press release from a Warwickshire housing association I was intrigued to see that it involved Passivhaus building techniques with air source heat pumps designed specifically for the different heat loads of new-build properties.

These cutting edge technologies will be helping to keep residents warm in what is said to be the first Passivhaus affordable homes in Warwickshire.

“Heat pumps are recognised as renewable technology by the government which is predicting sales of 1 million heat pumps a year by 2030.”

Carole Titmuss Refurb projects Carole Titmuss Editor of Refurb Projects

Warwickshire Rural Housing Association (WRHA) is currently developing the ground-breaking Passivhaus scheme in Wootton Wawen, in partnership with Waterloo Housing Group and developer, Bouygues UK.

Developed in Germany in the early 1990s, the Passivhaus model focuses on creating buildings which are as energy efficient as possible.

WRHA is working with market-leading heat pump manufacturer, Mitsubishi Electric to provide the 14 properties with the latest renewable air source heat pumps to fuel their heating and hot water, in place of a traditional boiler.

Wilby Meadows, Regional Sales Manager – Renewable Heating for Mitsubishi Electric UK, said the most up-to-date air source heat pump technology had been developed in Japan and the company was very excited to be bringing it to the UK.

He said: “The Wootton Wawen development will use our Ecodan QUHZ models, which are the very latest development of air source heat pumps.

Improved insulation

Modern methods of house construction are more insulated than previously

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New Build Challenge

Ecodan QUHZ

This unique air source heat pump uses a thermal store to provide instant hot water, whilst still keeping the home warm and cosy.

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Thermal store schematic

“This technology is already in use in Japanese homes.  We started bringing this new model over to the UK about a year ago as we knew it would provide an ideal solution for new-build properties in the UK market, but we needed suitable homes in which to install it.

“The Ecodan QUHZ system has been designed specifically to address the heating needs of new-build homes, which have a very different requirement from existing properties.  With superb levels of insulation, they need much less heating but still require hot water whenever the homeowner needs it.

“This is hugely important renewable technology and we are very excited to be involved in this energy efficient housing development.”

The heat pump works by extracting heat energy from the external air and upgrading it to heat up hot water for the homes.  This can then be fed through the taps inside the property or used to heat radiators for domestic heating.

The technology means that there is no need for pipelines to be laid to supply gas or oil to properties for heating or hot water, and no risk of dangerous carbon monoxide gas escaping.

Mr Meadows added: “This technology is safe, reliable and very renewable indeed.

“Passivhaus homes need very little heating because they are so energy efficient but every resident has their own needs, and our air source heat pumps will supply all the heat they want along with a constant supply of domestic hot water.”

Work on the first phase of the installation of the pumps is due to begin in the next couple of weeks and the final phase of the work will be completed in the new year.

The Wootton Wawen development, on land next to the A3400, will comprise 14 properties for affordable rent and two for shared ownership.  The scheme has been made possible through funding from Stratford-on-Avon District Council and the Homes and Communities Agency.


Carole Titmuss is publisher and editor of Refurb Projects magazine.


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