As an accredited Passivhaus Consultant Richard can advise on all matters relating to Passivhaus and Enerphit as well as carrying out PHPP (Passivhaus Planning Package) calculations so whether you are an architect, builder or self- builder Richard should be able to help.
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What is Passivhaus?
Passivhaus or 'Passive House' is the fastest growing energy performance standard in the world with over 30,000 buildings built to date.
Its strengths lie in its simplicity, a house that has an excellent thermal performance, exceptional airtightness with mechanical ventilation to certain standards along with mechanical ventilation and heat recovery (MVHR) is a Passivhaus.
This robust approach to building design allows the designer to minimise the heating demand of the building and in many residential buildings the only conventional heating specified is a heated towel rail whose heat can then be recovered and circulated by the Mechanical Ventilation and Heat Recovery (MVHR) unit.
With a 15kWh per square metre per year or less space heating demand the annual fuel costs of Passivhaus are reduced by a factor of 5-10 compared to a house built to Part L 2013 standards. Forr example a household living in a 70m2 Passivhaus with gas heating could spend as little as £35 on space heating each year.
The Passivhaus standard was developed in Germany in the early 1990s by Professors Bo Adamson of Sweden and Wolfgang Feist of Germany and the first dwellings to be completed to the Passivhaus Standard were constructed in Darmstadt in 1991.
The Passivhaus standard can be applied not only to residential dwellings but also to commercial, industrial and public buildings.
This has led to the following functional definition of a Passivhaus.
“A Passivhaus is a building, for which thermal comfort can be achieved solely by post-heating or post-cooling of the fresh air mass, which is required to achieve sufficient indoor air quality conditions – without the need for additional recirculation of air.”
...meaning the heating requirement in a Passivhaus is reduced to the point where a traditional heating system is no longer considered essential.
Cooling is also minimised by the same principles with the use of shading and in some cases via the pre-cooling of the supply air (generally only necessary in a Mediterranean/tropical context), night purging and natural cross-ventilation through open windows during the summer months being used as the main means of cooling.
As well as being an energy performance standard Passivhaus also provides excellent indoor air quality, this is achieved by reducing the air infiltration rates and supplying fresh air which is filtered and post heated by the MVHR unit.
The Passivhaus standard can be applied to any climate in the world and works equally as well in warm climates as it does in more moderate climates. To date Passivhaus buildings have been designed and built in every European country, Australia, China, Japan, Canada the USA and South America....a research station has even been constructed to the Passivhaus standard in Antarctica!
With the savings available from off-site prefabrication and an increasingly more skilled workforce available there is no reason why a Passivhaus should cost more than a house of the same design built to Part L 2013 standards as has been proven by several volume house-builders in the UK.