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Council Own Build (COB) II Passivhaus Residences


Council Own Build (COB) II Passivhaus Residences

Construction of  Passivhaus houses

Interserve has delivered 14, three-bedroom affordable homes to Passivhaus standard under Exeter City Council’s Council Own Build (COB) II initiative.

The finished scheme includes two fully wheelchair-accessible properties and provides 14 high-quality, affordable, healthy, Passivhaus terraced homes situated over two sites:

  • Silverberry Close: eight three-bedroom, four-person houses spread across one terrace of five houses and one terrace of three houses.
  • Barberry Close: four three-bedroom, four-person houses and two accessible houses of the same size, which include a downstairs bedroom, wet room and provision for the future installation of a lift). These houses are spread across two terraces of three units.

Improving the community

The homes have been built as part of the COB II initiative, the purpose of which is to provide modern social housing built to the latest low energy Passivhaus standard. The overall aim was to change these under-used areas and transform the area for local communities, while investing in a brighter future for these parts of Exeter. The houses are fully occupied and rented; they provide homes for families who were waiting on the Devon Home Choice Systems for a suitable place to live.

The homes benefit from high internal thermal mass, insulation and thermal-bridge-free design. The houses are also exceptionally air-tight, creating stable temperature levels and very low energy bills for occupiers.


The houses tackle fuel poverty and provide exemplary living conditions. The specification of healthy building materials is based on Building Biology principles, featuring:

  • Non-toxic materials
  • Organic materials
  • Designing out the risk of dust mites
  • Minimising electromagnetic radiation by good wiring design and specification
  • High levels of thermal comfort
  • High levels of natural daylight

The new homes have been designed to provide a sustainable living environment and building biology. The houses include technology that enables tenants to keep low energy, high performance homes, which contribute to a low carbon, ecologically sound future. A booklet designed to help tenants make the most of these technologies has been provided to all new families.

The homes have been built with parking for each resident and all homes have enclosed safe gardens, but are built within a communal cul-de-sac to encourage community interaction.

Project vitals


Two sites on the outskirts of Exeter City - Silverberry Close and Barberry Close


Exeter City Council




All 14 homes achieved Passivhaus standard


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