So what's happening out there?

So what's happening out there?

Postby parka » Wed Aug 26, 2009 12:23 pm

Apart from the usual news, I'm just wondering if anyone has seen any changes work wise?
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Re: So what's happening out there?

Postby keating » Wed Aug 26, 2009 1:37 pm

As a Passive Architecture consultant, I've found that in the Last 2 weeks things have gone mental, huge interest from people looking to go Passive with their plans, prior to starting their build. We're analysing 2 buildings per day through the PHPP. I think people are realising that if you are building your own home anything less than passive is wasteful. Its a pity they didn't use an Architect, not to mention one with an understanding of sun and energy, right from the start. Many of my clients for new build or renovation have gone to qualified Architects asking them to provide a Passive design service only to find that they are lacking in knowledge of the design of near passive and passivhaus even though its been around since the early 90's.

Many Architects confuse Passive standard with Carbon zero or even Deap A rated. It is neither. Passive is just designing the house so it dosent need a conventional heating system. Its hard to have sympathy with Architecture firms not getting to grips with the new way of building for an energy scarce future. Most firms are still floggin VHS technology. They are still also waiting for developers to walk i the door asking for a few hundred apartments. The lands that were zoned for homogonised repeat pattern units will be sold as 'develop your own plot' serviced sites, by Nama. The firms that can meet this market demand for cheap low energy, off site built low energy individual houses will prosper in the constricting future economy.

Just a look through the topics in this forum shows that architects are unwilling to engage in the biggest change in building technology since the modernists. just like in the twenties, most architects will ignore the new methods and build the same old stuff they've always done.
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Re: So what's happening out there?

Postby henno » Wed Aug 26, 2009 2:18 pm

keating wrote:As a Passive Architecture consultant, I've found that in the Last 2 weeks things have gone mental, huge interest from people looking to go Passive with their plans, prior to starting their build. We're analysing 2 buildings per day through the PHPP. I think people are realising that if you are building your own home anything less than passive is wasteful. Its a pity they didn't use an Architect, not to mention one with an understanding of sun and energy, right from the start. Many of my clients for new build or renovation have gone to qualified Architects asking them to provide a Passive design service only to find that they are lacking in knowledge of the design of near passive and passivhaus even though its been around since the early 90's.

Many Architects confuse Passive standard with Carbon zero or even Deap A rated. It is neither. Passive is just designing the house so it dosent need a conventional heating system. Its hard to have sympathy with Architecture firms not getting to grips with the new way of building for an energy scarce future. Most firms are still floggin VHS technology. They are still also waiting for developers to walk i the door asking for a few hundred apartments. The lands that were zoned for homogonised repeat pattern units will be sold as 'develop your own plot' serviced sites, by Nama. The firms that can meet this market demand for cheap low energy, off site built low energy individual houses will prosper in the constricting future economy.

Just a look through the topics in this forum shows that architects are unwilling to engage in the biggest change in building technology since the modernists. just like in the twenties, most architects will ignore the new methods and build the same old stuff they've always done.


Which course within the Passive House Institute have you done?? and was it expensive??
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Re: So what's happening out there?

Postby keating » Wed Aug 26, 2009 9:37 pm

henno wrote:Which course within the Passive House Institute have you done?? and was it expensive??


Passivhaus Planning package is an accessible tool for designers and home builders. I haven't done any course directly in passivehaus, I get Dr Suzanne Theumer of the PHI to check my cold bridge calcs and any assumptions. There are established european norms and international Standards for calculating heat gains and losses such as EN 832, cold bridge calc methodology in IS EN 10211 using Therm for instance. The PHI arch/engineer then verifies the completed build. When you have 2 buildings certified, you are an accredited passive house designer. Alternatively there is a course in Strathclyde Glasgow in November, this will be repeated in Ireland in 2010. On commercial you can use IES software to design a building to meet the PHI benchmarks. Namely 15kWh/m2/annum for specific heat load, 10W/m2 for heat load and 120kw/m2/annum for overall energy, finally the most difficult criteria, 0.6 air changes per hour @ 50 pascals overpressure. Of course for commercial I have to get calcs signed off by a Cibse engineer.

Its very useful to be able to refer to space heat in quantitative terms, that way you can analyse say window alternatives to make the optimum choice. It takes the guesswork out of specification. One of the biggest issues with passive standard or low energy build, is that once you start to superinsulate, you can create a situation where you store up interstitial condensation problems for the future. This is why low energy builds use, cellulose, softboard, hemplime etc, natural hydroscopic materials, along with the likes of quinnlite and EPS. Insulation in the form of Phenolic an polyiso is out. All build ups need to checked with simulation programs like WUFI to assess condensation risk. We also use natural materials as they have better thermal inertia, this is especially important for roofs, which can easily overheat. So we're providing a service that takes the guesswork out of building, we also take the clunky boiler out too. The size of Boilers and chillers are an indication of the quality of design, so its nice to be able to say your building is a twelve, when building regs require 50.
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