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Getting Active About Passive Houses

Posted on 1st August 2014 in Announcements , Getting Efficient

Passive House in Fife

When David and I set up the company we were clear that we wanted to deliver amazing energy efficiency to homeowners across the country, and what better way to achieve that than by almost eliminating energy bills altogether?

We’re pleased to be able to share a Case Study on one of the most interesting and innovative projects we were involved in last year – a stunning new Passive House in rural Fife. Built with the aim of minimising environmental impact and energy consumption, and serve as a legacy to future residents of the commitment of the owner’s late spouse to sustainable living, energy efficiency was firmly on the agenda from the start.

Our team worked closely with the architects (Constructive Individuals London), the client, the main contractor and Passive House consultant Rod Williams to survey the property, advise on and deliver Warmcel 500 insulation as part of the main build.

From a technical perspective, we applied 450mm thick insulation to the walls and roof at a density of 65kg per m3.

One of the most significant aspects of the project was the use of Warmcel 500 – the first time the material has been used in a Passive House in Scotland, and hopefully the first of many. Over the 10-day period of works, we injected around 18.5 tonnes of the product into closed panels in the building, and we worked closely with Excel Fibre Technology – the manufacturer of Warmcel – to ensure the best possible solution was installed. On the strength of our experience, it’s a product we plan to recommend frequently.

Of course, insulation alone doesn’t make for a Passive House – the client also installed a huge range of energy efficient systems and measures including:

Project - Passive House Fife - InteriorIt is an all-electric house (i.e. no oil or gas is required)

  • 4kWh Peak Solar Photo Voltaic Panels
  • 6kWh Peak Wind Turbine
  • The equivalent of 3kW Solar Thermal Panels
  • Under Floor Heating on the ground floor
  • A Post Heater serving the upper floor
  • Water-heated towel rails in all en-suites
  • A 350-litre thermal store, with two coils
  • Two Immersun I controls for the four 3 kW Immersion Heaters in the thermal store
  • PV and wind turbine was chosen with a view to generating as constant a supply of electricity through the year as possible
  • Triple-glazed windows

From a practical perspective, there is little need for heating in the house – we popped in to see the client late in 2014 and despite being very comfortable, we were assured that the heating hadn’t been on once since they had moved in!

We’re also very pleased to be part of a wider Passive House movement in Scotland that is gaining momentum as more and more would-be self-builders gain the confidence to take on their own projects, and share their experience with the world at large such as Penny and Martin who blog about their Passive House project in Culbokie, just north of Inverness. We have big plans to be part of that movement, and we’ll be sharing more projects’ news as they complete.

In the meantime, please have a read of the full Case Study, and if you’d like to speak to us about your project, don’t hesitate to get in touch.