Roma Finance funds the first development of Passivhaus houses in South Lanarkshire



Innovation is fundamental in the current climate and Roma Finance has announced the funding of a development of sustainable Passivhaus houses in Scotland.

Passivhaus buildings provide a high level of occupant comfort while using very little energy for heating and cooling.

They are built with meticulous attention to detail, rigorous design and construction according to principles developed by the Passivhaus Institute, and can be certified through an exacting quality assurance process.

The designs are common in Northern Europe and Roma Finance is thrilled to be part of the project to promote them in Scotland.

Roma Finance’s customer, Avongreen Abodes has built the first commercially available Passivhaus project in South Lanarkshire that had reached the Gold level of ‘Sustainability’.

The site in South Lanarkshire had planning for four x 4-bedroom detached houses with a Gross Development Value of £2.5 million.

When Roma took on the application for Avongreen Abodes, the first property had already sold and the remaining build was comprised of two wind and watertight new build homes and a fully serviced plot with south facing views over a county park.

The low energy build is impressive and boasts some exciting technology designed to make the houses as self-sufficient as possible:

  • High specification triple glazing and high levels of insulation to the window frames
  • High levels of airtightness
  • Mechanical ventilation system with heat recovery
  • Passive solar shading to prevent overheating
  • Solar thermal technologies, turning sunlight into heat instead of power
  • Super-insulation to significantly reduce the heat transfer through the walls, roof and floor compared to conventional buildings
  • An onsite borehole to provide clean water and a waste water recycling plant
  • Acoustic floorboards for additional sound proofing

At the time the case came to Roma Finance, Avongreen Abodes had already completed the sale of the first house for £610,000; right on target.

Another two houses were at that point, wind and watertight and the final plot had all services connected. The borrower need to exit their development loan onto a more cost effective bridging loan to complete the remaining houses for sale.

The second property then sold with a sale price of £620,000. Roma Finance lent £550,000 to redeem the existing development loan and provide further funding to complete the remainder of the build.

This case is a great demonstration of our flexibility as the valuation was not at all straightforward.

The valuer was unable to support the sales prices, because there was no direct comparison with them being Passivhaus builds.

This may have posed a problem for many lenders, however, we were able to ‘take a view’ on the case and make a good decision for the customer in the name of innovation.

Roma Finance has provided an efficient service throughout and worked with our customer during the pandemic to ensure their needs were met.

The build has continued and the outlook for the completion and sale of the final properties is extremely positive.

Nick Jones, Commercial Director of Roma Finance said:

“At Roma Finance we pride ourselves on leading the charge and being forward thinking. These houses are full of innovation, look fantastic and truly are properties of the future.

Avongreen Abodes have really set the bar high for sustainable properties moving forward and I am really excited to see what they come up with next.

We are thrilled to have been able to fund this build and hope to support more sustainable properties in the future.”

Denise Bryson, Director of Avongreen Abodes Ltd said:

“A huge thank you to all of the team at Roma Finance for their excellent customer service, advice and help.

The interest rates with our previous lending company were absolutely eye-watering and we could no longer continue to work with them.

Roma Finance helped us to navigate our way through a refinance with much more competitive interest rates.

They were also genuinely interested in our exciting new Passivhaus Development and our commitment to low energy sustainable housing, it was not just all about the figures!

Our progress has been fantastic since we started working with Roma and we have just recently completed a bridging loan for our final plot.

Roma Finance has a great skill in keeping finances simple and uncomplicated. Their service has been second to none and we look forward to working with them again in the future on our next Passivhaus Project”.