The Touchwood Homes Ethos

In the early 1990s we realised the construction industry, like all aspects of modern industry, would have to undergo major changes in order to combat climate change, and that we could accomplish this by looking at means of energy conservation and reducing carbon emissions.

Our first project to integrate the principles of Passivhaus into the design and build of a new home was in 1996, commissioned by a very early adopter to the principles of low energy buildings.

We are committed to providing top quality air tight, super insulated timber frame homes, enabling self-builders to create a home with minimal every day energy consumption. If the design meets the passivhaus standard (quantified by PHPP), then winter heating requirements for comfortable living can be met via a small heater battery within the MVHR system, so eliminating the need for a conventional central heating system entirely, and saving installation costs!

running costs: £180 per year

Near zero running costs

running costs: £90 per year profit

Fox Barn

Howe Park


Touchwood Homes | Our structural solutions to creating passivhaus homes

Our timber frames are all made from factory pre-cut "I beams", which allow for any shape of building, and a fast build time. These are then externally sheathed with an air tight, solid TG fibre board over the entire structure, to provide a completely robust, long term air tight solution – much more efficient than the traditional use of sticky tapes and membrane!


foundation drawing


insulation drawing


eaves drawing

 Foundation diagram  Insulation diagram  Eaves diagram

...and so in implementing these we have:

insulation drawing

Effective insulation

Cellulose fibre insulation is pumped into the walls. I beams are the only successful way to achieve this – cheaper twin wall systems are impossible to install with cellulose fibre to the required density

 draughts drawing

Prevention of draughts

We cover the entire external surface of the build with our TG board, mastic sealed at all joints to form a long term robust air tight layer. We do not use cheap tapes and membranes.

 coldbridg drawing

Combated the issue of 'cold-bridging'

I beams have only the 9mm web passing through the structure, so minimal cold-bridging occurs.


Our non-panalised build system has huge advantages over conventional builds, due to the fact that when the frame is completed your follow-on trades can get get straight to work on installation of their first fix wiring and plumbing, directly within our I beam walls and ceilings, thus avoiding the time consuming and costly phase of creating a service void around all interior walls. It also avoids first fix works becoming mixed up with an internal airtight layer. The electrician on our Hennerwood project commented that his works took just 3 weeks to complete, instead of 8 weeks on another newbuild project comprising of an internal air-tight barrier where he had to constantly reseal with tape any penetrations to the layer.

Our system also allows us to build to any design, there is not the limitation of trying to constrain a design into transportable panels, giving us freedom to do curved walls, crown roofs and any other feature your design may have.

Touchwood Homes Passivhaus Foundation Systems

Super Efficient Passivhaus windows and doors

Read more about the Touchwood Homes Foundation solutions

The advantages of living in a Touchwood Homes air-tight structured home

  • No conventional central heating system needed, saving substantial construction costs, and of course running costs.
  • Minimal heating demand so very low heating bills – it is common for the MVHR system to supply all required heating via 2kW heater
  • Stable internal air temperature from heavy weight insulation (typically 6-8 tonnes of insulation / house).
  • Foundation slab inside the thermal envelope so is all used as thermal mass
  • Excellent air quality from MVHR unit supplying house with constant filtered fresh air
  • No cold draughts inside the home due to air-tight construction
  • Very quiet, calm internal space from super dense Cellulose insulation and triple glazed windows