10:10:10 was the date chosen for the first UK Passivhaus Student Research Conference. Thanks to course directors and tutors like Sofie Pelsmaker, together with a new wave of students aware of a global emergency and passionate to be a part of the solution, architectural education is moving into a new era integrating design and building physics. At last students have access to a scientific method of designing energy efficient buildings, with instant feed-back loops. The empowerment that results is stimulating a rapidly growing interest in research at schools of architecture across the UK.

Capital Costs, Cost Savings in Use, Carbon Emissions, Payback,

How to Earn £1300 a Year from a Zero Carbon Passivhaus

Monday 11 October 2010

Islington Town Hall Assembly Rooms
Upper Street, London N1 2UD

Following the huge success of the North London conference in February, which was fully booked in a week with a waiting list of more than 100 people, a much bigger, national conference will take place this Autumn (again in London) with a much wider outreach. The steering group is putting together an exciting programme which includes a low-cost exhibition of carefully selected, high quality suppliers.

Watch this space for more information coming soon.

Our Welsh Passivhaus social housing prototype today achieved what is probably the best result so far for a UK pressurised air test for an above-ground, detached house. As predicted, the second airtest which was carried out today on our 3 bed social housing passivhaus prototype (after completion of M&E installation including services penetrations) achieved an even better result than the first test.

Fund raising is now complete. The tenders came in on budget. One of the UK’s first certified Passivhaus retrofits starts on site on May 17th. The building is predicted to make 94% energy savings compared to the existing building, while at the same time greatly increasing the usable floor space of the building. When the centre re-opens it will be re-orientated southwards to a new community garden.

On Monday the timber frame contractors of our Welsh Passivhaus prototype social housing managed a fantastic first air test result of 0.29 air changes per hour under 50 pascals air pressure! This is one of the best air test results carried out by a UK contractor so far; more than twice as good as the minimum standard required for a Passivhaus, 34 times better than UK Building Regulations, and right up there with the best current German construction standards.

The Camden passivhaus home is about knowledge transfer from Austria and Germany and the Welsh Passivhaus project is about trying to apply this knowledge to social housing prototypes. We are also working on a terraced Welsh Passivhaus home to save more money and energy than detached houses.

These are the first prototypes for passivhaus homes at Ebbw Vale in Wales, to be on show at the Eisteddfod in July this year. 700 homes are planned for the site over the next few years. Wales is going zero carbon on all new homes from next year (2011) and it is possible that they will define zero carbon as based on the Passivhaus standard of energy efficiency. This is a definition of zero carbon that is 3 times more ambitious in terms of specific heat requirements than the English definition of zero carbon to be applied to new homes in England in 5 years time.


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