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