#Passivhaus trickle-down on 'Standard' projects

What I’m seeing over the last few years is that even if the client doesn’t go the ‘whole enchilada’ with a certified Passivhaus (I would however highly recommend designing, building and certifying to the Passivhaus standard incidentally); many of the Passivhaus features are becoming incorporated and ‘trickling down’ to the ‘Standard’ project. Namely:

1. High levels of insulation.

200mm cavity (before insulation) with low conductivity wall tie

200mm cavity with low conductivity wall tie

With the ‘optimal’ cavity width for Passivhaus certification using concrete blocks at 300mm (pumped with platinum multi-bead insulation); we’re frequently adopting cavities on our ‘Standard’ projects of 200mm and 250mm.

2. Minimal Thermal bridges

As you can see in the image above, we are using low conductivity wall ties instead of steel versions.

The photo below also shows the low-conductivity blocks we use in strategic locations to reduce thermal bridging:

Low conductivity blocks

Low conductivity blocks

3. Triple Glazing

The price for triple glazing in Ireland has reduced dramatically over the last few years, even as far as some suppliers offering it as standard:

All openings sealed airtight

All openings sealed airtight

4. Airtightness

Also note the airtightness procedures in the image above and below:

Airtightness tape applied to window

Airtightness tape applied to window

With airtightness testing now mandatory as part of the Building Regulations, you might as well get it done well.

The airtightness membranes, tapes & sealants are now commonplace in Builders Merchants across Ireland, the example below shows the membrane applied to the ceiling on a ‘Building Regs’ project

5. Mechanical Heat Recovery and Ventilation

The last tenet of Passivhaus methodology is ensuring a good, clean air supply to ventilate the property. This is critical with the levels of insulation and airtightness that are required and cannot be achieved with ‘holes’ in the walls.

MHVR Ducting during construction

MHVR Ducting during construction

Conclusion:

These are the five tenets of Passivhaus design and construction: 1. Insulate 2. Eliminate Thermal Bridges 3. Triple Glaze 4. Airtight 5. MHVR.

If you are considering a Passivhaus or low carbon construction, then please do not hesitate to CONTACT ME…. There is also a Passivhaus standard for refurbishments called the Enerphit standard. I’ve put together a Fact Sheet on the Enerphit Standard on the TeachPassiv sister site. This fact sheet is one of a series on TeachPassiv.com which are relevant to newcomers & professionals.

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