Living in a Passivhaus: Snow update!

Denby Dale Passivhaus snow

Denby Dale Passivhaus snow

We’ve had snow up here for the last three weeks and temperatures well below zero so we’ve had the radiator and duct heater on to boost heat (the gas boiler is there for the hot water and to supply heat on very cold days). The house is performing really well and we’re feeling very toasty. We’ll write more on bills and how the house is performing over the winter in the next blog…


Geoff & Kate Tunstall, Denby Dale Passivhaus

13th December 2010

7 responses to “Living in a Passivhaus: Snow update!”

  1. Keep an eye on the roof – a nice snow covering, and where it thaws, is the poor man’s thermal imaging camera….


  2. blank Alex Fornal says:

    I was wondering how you are finding the MVHR? Can you hear it in your bedroom? Elsewhere in the house? My wife and I are bdoing an eco renovation and likely to install a MVHR. Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you.

    • blank Nick Devlin says:


      There can be noise issues associated with MVHR units, but fortunately these can all be addressed through careful detailed design. Indeed, PassivHaus certification requires that certain acoustic standards are met to prevent annoyance to the occupants. The PH standards requires no more than 35dB in the plant space with the MVHR unit and 25dB within the rooms. This requires attention to detail in attenuation etc to prevent cross talk. Discuss these issues with your designer / supplier.

  3. Geoff and Kate are very reassuring re MVHR noise ( or lack of) in their update for BUILDING at:

  4. blank Geoff says:


    Your query about the MVHR.

    We were concerned at an early stage of MVHR noise, we even travelled to Austria to stand and listen in a couple of passivhaus’s. Our fears were quickly dispelled, there was the very slightest sound when stood near an inlet. As for our Denby Dale passivhaus, the Paul Thermos 200 is completely inaudible in the house, the loudest noise is the gas heating boiler and that is only really audible in the study next to the plant room where the boiler is situated. The Paul MVHR unit is one of the quietest certified by the Passivhaus Institute.
    The main reason for the inaudibility I think is the integrity of the design, the mvhr, the quality steel ducting, the mounting of the ducting, having unobstructed runs and the right attenuation ( attenuation is the internal silencing of the system to counter any extraneous sounds being transmitted through the system i.e. voices or sounds from room to room etc.), system commissioning by qualified and competant people to tune in correct parameters, fan speeds and balance, duct velocities, outlet volumes, etc , the list is goes on! The MVHR unit is actually located in the garage, mainly for access and to save space in the house, but its quiet murmur is outside and not inside the house. This all contributes to system efficiency and is neccessary for good MVHR reliability and comfortable performance.
    The user programming is minimal once the system is correctly commissioned, we can and have adjusted, through trial and error to optimise our comfort, the desired running temp at 20-21c, night lowering, summer by-pass and of course we have a boost switch to boost the system when needed.
    In the extreme conditions of the last few weeks the system has really been tested and has performed well.

  5. Tweets that mention Snow update! | Passivhaus blog -- says:

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Nick Grant. Nick Grant said: RT @passivhausnews: Clients comment on (lack of) MVHR noise in DD Passivhaus: […]

  6. blank Digby Harper says:

    I am exploring the possibility of building a Passivhaus in my garden. As our southern boundary runs alongside a major RAF helicopter training base, dealing with noise is a key issue. Your comments regarding the effectiveness of triple glazing were really quite reassuring, although we’ve lived alongside the airfield for eleven years, and it’s never really been as difficult to live with as we feared before we moved here.
    I rather like the idea of high thermal mass in the walls, partly to reduce noise, but also to maintain even temperatures. However most people seem to think timber frame is the best route.
    Our existing house is part of a very large Barn conversion, and we have 40cm thick masonry walls, which are brilliant. Even in the hottest heatwave we’re cool indoors, and we’re almost immune from power cuts in winter, because the house takes a long time to cool down when the heating goes off. That’s why I favour hight thermal mass. It also keeps the aircraft noise out very effectively. The roof is insulated with Rockwool, and overall the house, despite being converted to 1990 standards is surprisingly energy efficient.
    Do you have any views on the thermal mass issue?

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