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Cannock Mill CoHousing, Colchester

Cannock Mill CoHousing, Colchester

This development of 23 stunning ‘PassiveHaus’ properties has been developed on behalf of a cohort of hard working business professionals, legally constituent as Cannock Mill Cohousing Colchester Limited (CMCC).

Using a mixture of member and loan finance, the group looked to construct a purpose-built, self-sufficient living community, in a semi-rural area close to public transport links.
The overall mindset behind the project was to provide a safe and secure living environment, where all members benefited from sharing mutual facilities, explored shared interests and had the opportunity to build long-lasting friendships.

Preliminary site work began in 2016, with main building contract commencement in 2017.

The scheme was given a mixed accommodation schedule, with homes ranging from 2 bedroom flats to 3 bedroom houses. And since members stipulated that they wanted to keep their carbon footprint as light as possible, they decided to opt for homes that could be built in timber frame and to ‘Passivhaus’ standard.

‘Passivhaus’ is the term given to the ultra-low energy construction standards first pioneered in Germany in the 1990‘s. These standards are now widely used in the UK, especially by White-Haus who are a timber frame specialist, to achieve best practice in energy conservation.

In collaboration with architect Anne Thorne, White-Haus designed, engineered and erected all twenty-three timber frame homes that now boast:

• high levels of thermal insulation and the absence of thermal bridging (where heat is lost through solid elements, window frames for example, to the outside)
• highly insulated triple glazed windows and doors
• recovery of heat from the ventilation system – referred to as mechanical ventilation and heat recovery (MVHR)
• a high degree of air-tightness (windows still open, but only when you want them to, ie no draughts)

With only two out of the twenty-three units now remaining unoccupied, the anticipated move-in date of October 2018 is looking more and more realistic.

And both White Haus and the CMCC are absolutely delighted with the outcome.


Cannock Mill Cohousing Colchester


Anne Thorne Architect


Timber Frame