Passivhaus (translated as ‘passive house’ in English) is an approach to designing ultra low energy homes and buildings that is beginning to sweep the nation. Today (Tuesday 12th October 2010) Green Building Store launches ‘Future Passiv’ a short 10 minute documentary which makes the case for Passivhaus as a standard for all UK new builds – and even for the refurbishment of existing buildings.
Presented by eco broadcaster Penney Poyzer (BBC2’s “No Waste like Home”), ‘Future Passiv’ features Green Building Store’s Denby Dale Passivhaus project in West Yorkshire and outlines the many advantages of the Passivhaus approach to low energy building. As well as offering incredibly cheap heating bills (heating costs for the Denby Dale Passivhaus are expected to be around £75 per year), Passivhaus buildings can also make a significant contribution to tackling climate change, as well as being very comfortable to live in. ‘Future Passiv’ includes interviews with the owners of the Denby Dale Passivhaus and looks at the way in which Passivhaus design is really beginning to take off in the UK including housing associations, schools, offices and community centres as well as private homes.
Passivhaus design can create buildings which use 90% less energy for space heating than standard UK buildings. Based on the principle that reducing heating loss to the minimum is the most cost-effective way of creating a low carbon building, Passivhaus design relies on a simple ‘tea cosy’ effect maximising the use of super insulation and stringent airtightness. By combining this with passive solar gain and mechanical ventilation and heat recovery (MVHR) systems, Passivhaus design can create healthy and comfortable buildings that require minimal heating.
Penney Poyzer said,
“Passivhaus is a philosophy in itself. It is a mix of applied physics, common sense and practical wisdom and it can be applied to any type of building, not just housing. It can be applied to new build or retrofit. It is a proven technique which shows that it is entirely practical and feasible to aim for buildings that use 90% less energy than typical UK housing stock. If the UK is to achieve massive reductions in carbon then it is essential that we tackle the built environment. Across Europe, buildings account for 60% of carbon emissions. I believe that Passivhaus can slash those emissions now.”
The ‘Future Passiv’ documentary is part of a larger film ‘Passivhaus low energy building in the UK’ project which includes a 60 minute technical film for building professionals, covering all stages of construction of the Denby Dale Passivhaus – the UK’s first Passivhaus to be built using traditional British cavity wall construction methods. With a Foreword by Jonathon Porritt, the film sets out to offer the UK construction industry a template for building ultra low energy Passivhaus buildings using construction methods and materials familiar to UK builders and designers.
The Future Passiv documentary and Denby Dale Passivhaus technical film are freely available to view at Green Building Store’s website www.greenbuildingstore.co.uk. A free technical briefing (40 page pdf) is also available to those registering at: www.greenbuildingstore.co.uk/denbydalehouse
Notes for the Editor
Green Building Store
Green Building Store is a specialist manufacturer/ supplier sustainable building products as well as supplying a range of Passivhaus services including Passivhaus products, training, consultancy and construction. It won a Queen’s Award for Enterprise: Sustainable Development 2009 for its “pioneering approach to sustainability” and for delivering “cutting edge sustainable products to the market”.
Denby Dale Passivhaus
The Denby Dale Passivhaus project in West Yorkshire is one of the first certified Passivhaus homes in the UK and is the first to be built in the British vernacular style, using a cavity wall construction. The house will require minimal heating and will use 90% less energy for space heating than the UK average. Built to a tight budget of £141K, the 118m2 three-bed detached house aims to be an exemplar of how Passivhaus construction can be achieved inexpensively by a small, skilled construction team. The project was led and managed by Green Building Company (Green Building Store’s construction division).
* One of the first certified Passivhaus homes in the UK
* First certified Passivhaus built with cavity wall construction in UK
* £141K basic build costs
* 118m2 three-bed detached house
* Airtightness: 0.33 ach @ 50 Pa
* Space heating needs: under 15 kWh/m2/annum
* Minimal heating – using 90% less energy for space heating than the UK average
* Heating costs of around £75 per year.
* Subject of the popular ‘Passivhaus Diaries’ blog
* Shortlisted for RIBA Yorkshire White Rose Awards – Sustainability Award (results announced 26/11/10)
* Shortlisted for Sustainability Awards – Sustainable Housing Project of the Year (results announced 30/11/10)
More information at: www.greenbuildingstore.co.uk/denbydalehouse
Jonathon Porritt, Co-Founder of Forum for the Future, is an eminent writer, broadcaster and commentator on sustainable development. Established in 1996, Forum for the Future is now the UK’s leading sustainable development charity, with 70 staff and over 100 partner organisations, including some of the world’s leading companies.
In addition, he is Co-Director of The Prince of Wales’s Business and Sustainability Programme which runs Seminars for senior executives around the world. He is a Non-Executive Director of Wessex Water, and of Willmott Dixon Holdings. He is a Trustee of the Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy, and is involved in the work of many NGOs and charities as Patron, Chair or Special Adviser.
Penney Poyzer was recently hailed as one of 100 British women of the last century who have changed the world. She is an acknowledged expert across a broad church of green issues. She is an author, broadcaster and campaigner. She presented BBC2’s ground-breaking series “No Waste like Home” which has been seen in 27 countries.
She is patron of a number of green charities and was recently appointed as an expert to the EU. She is co-creator of the Nottingham ecohome, the UK’s first radical eco retrofit of a hard to treat home. Now in its eleventh year, Penney and her green architect husband Gil Schalom, are acknowledged as pioneers of the eco retrofit movement. Penney is an advisor and consultant to a wide range of organisations.
The production of ‘Future Passiv’ was made possible thanks to the kind sponsorship of Kirklees Council. Mehboob Khan, Leader of Kirklees Council said:
“Kirklees Council is at the forefront of local government efforts to reduce CO2 emissions from buildings and we are delighted to have the low energy exemplar Denby Dale Passivhaus project within the Kirklees area. We are fortunate to be able to benefit from Green Building Store’s expertise in this exciting new approach to low energy construction and we hope that the Denby Dale Passivhaus will offer a template for the construction industry to help deal with the urgent problems of climate change and fuel poverty.”