A sort of follow-up to the Post on CPD; sometimes following a CPD session it really pushes you into a rethink on the way you’re doing things.
After a CPD session on #PassivHaus we had a site visit to the lovely, in-construction, soon to be certified, passive house of Architect Cuala McGann and it really made me think about u-values we’re currently working to.
What’s amazing in Ireland is the overwhelming use of blockwork, cavity construction. No matter how much you try it’s very difficult to get the client mindset to adjust to a warmer, easier to airtighten and faster to construct method that is timber frame. What was incredible at Cuala’s house were the resulting u-values of such a construction – what could possibly be the lowest u-values in Ireland, if not Europe.
Let’s go back only a few years; 2008 regs had wall u-values at 0.27 W/m2K; to achieve 2012 compliance you’re looking at practically Passivhaus standard of 0.15 W/m2K. Remember that you can’t now rely on backstop u-values to ensure compliance HERE IS A BLOG POST ON THAT TOPIC. Cuala’s house has a wall u-value at 0.07 W/m2K; that’s nearly a 400% improvement on a value only 4 years ago!. And it’s done in a wall construction and materials that are entirely naturally-made! ( Gutex from Ecological Building Systems ).
Although not complete, the house is well on the way (photo above taken at the end of the day), a special thanks to Cuala McGann for showing us around the benchmark of passivhaus construction.