Ensuring site construction quality. Independent Passivhaus Certification for Rainham Passive Housing.

Cocreate were Passivhaus Certifiers for 51 Passivhaus homes built for Circle Housing in Rainham, Essex. Rainham Passive Housing was the largest residential Passivhaus development of its time and was completed in March 2015. It is now called ‘Passive Close’.

The scheme was certified in stages as three terraces of housing and one block of apartments. Cocreate worked closely with the contractor to ensure that lessons were learnt between the phases, and that construction quality improved over the course of the project.

Presence on site in Rainham

Rainham Passive Housing was built under a design & build contract by Climate Energy Homes. Circle Housing contracted them to deliver the air tightness and thermal performance required for Passivhaus Certification. Cocreate were appointed as Passivhaus certifiers, and also to carry out regular site inspections to ensure the quality of installation met the design ambitions.

Foundation step

Time on site with the main contractor was invaluable and has formed the model for other large schemes we are certifying. Initially we were called to ‘check’ things that were finished and often half covered up by the next trade. Remedial work was often needed and some quality issues were impossible to correct, these had to be incorporated in the assessment calculation.

“Realising that the people working on site didn’t necessarily know what ‘good’ looked like was really interesting. The levels of insulation and were not familiar to any of the trades.”

Working with the contractor we moved to a strategy of very early checks that set a benchmark for the quality that was required. A more positive approach quickly improved the relationships on site, with the contractor and trades keen to have us involved.