A pioneering energy-saving conversion of a derelict cowshed at a Huddersfield community farm has received international recognition.

The Cre8 Barn project at Stirley Community Farm, Berry Brow, has transformed a dilapidated cow byre into an ultra energy-efficient education centre.

The scheme, led by the Green Building Store at Bolster Moor, has become one of only a handful of UK projects to receive the Passivhaus retrofit (EnerPHit) certification from the German Passivhaus Institut.

Passivhaus-standard buildings use high levels of insulation, together with stringent airtightness and advanced ventilation systems to reduce heating energy consumption by up to 90%, compared with the UK average.

The Cre8 Barn, funded by a grant of £300,000 from Veolia Environmental Trust, also recently won ‘The Legacy Award - Sustainability’ at Constructing Excellence Yorkshire & Humber Awards 2014.

A super-insulated timber frame ‘box within a box’ was built inside the existing stone building. This preserved the barn’s external appearance and providing structural support, while offering state-of-the-art energy efficiency.

Award winning energy-efficient cowshed conversion CRe8 Barn at Stirley Community Farm, Berry Brow, carried out by Green Building Store, of Bolster Moor
Award winning energy-efficient cowshed conversion CRe8 Barn at Stirley Community Farm, Berry Brow, carried out by Green Building Store, of Bolster Moor
 

Rob Stoneman, chief executive at Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, which runs Stirley Community Farm, said: “The best energy is that which you don’t use and the Passivhaus approach of reducing energy usage to a minimum really appealed to us.

“Yorkshire Wildlife Trust must play its part to avoid climate catastrophe as part of its work to conserve wildlife here in Yorkshire. The Cre8 Barn uses very little energy to heat, offering a fantastic public example of how good design can be used to radically reduce energy use and improve comfort in even the most cold and draughty of buildings.”

Bill Butcher, Green Building Store director and project leader, added: “Getting EnerPHit certification is testimony to Yorkshire Wildlife Trust’s commitment to the Passivhaus ‘fabric first’ approach to energy efficiency on the project.

“It has been a fantastic opportunity to explore how the Passivhaus methodology can be applied to retrofit projects and we hope that the lessons learnt at the project will offer a useful template for other buildings.”

A plaque will be unveiled at the Stirley Community Farm’s Food Festival on October 19 by Rob Stoneman, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust chief executive.