Warm Blog

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PHPP WARM Results Sheet v6.01 Released – PHPP9 Compatible!

Posted by on Dec 2, 2015 in news, Of interest | Comments Off on PHPP WARM Results Sheet v6.01 Released – PHPP9 Compatible!

PHPP WARM Results Sheet v6.01 Released – PHPP9 Compatible!

Dear all, We are very proud to announce the latest release of our popular results sheet. This release represents a big overhaul, and includes lots of new features, as well as improvements to usability. It is compatible with PHPP8 and PHPP9. Download link:   PHPP WARM Results Sheet v6.07 (204.2 KiB, 5,568 hits) [Edit 02/12/15: updated to v6.02] The biggest improvement is the addition of 3 new sheets that show a summary of the key data in the PHPP. Hope you find it really useful. Liam McDonagh-Greaves,...

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New PHPP Guide: Formulae to Make Solid Shading Transparent

Posted by on Nov 9, 2015 in Guides, news, Of interest | Comments Off on New PHPP Guide: Formulae to Make Solid Shading Transparent

New PHPP Guide: Formulae to Make Solid Shading Transparent

Dear all, We have published a guide to applying a transparency factor to objects in the shading sheet in your PHPP. Let’s say you are modelling a line of trees in your PHPP. The spreadsheet assumes that they are completely opaque, but this isn’t true – some degree of light always gets through. This guide shows you how to apply some transparency to those trees, making your shading more accurate. It is also useful for modelling non-solid fences, brise-soleils and pergolas. Download link: Hope you find it useful! Liam McDonagh-Greaves,...

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UK Passivhaus Conference

Posted by on Nov 6, 2015 in news | Comments Off on UK Passivhaus Conference

UK Passivhaus Conference

  Pete recently presented at the UK Passivhaus Conference talking about our experience of Passivhaus on a large scale.  . . . The full talk is here but the key principals are: Massing: Is the thermal envelope really a simple shape? Fenestration: Dominates PHPP but use daylight criteria to size windows Ventilation: Consider central systems, early design input absolutely crucial Distribution losses : Significant impact on primary energy and overheating, standard solutions don’t work   He also sat on the panel at the end of the day discussing scaling up Passivhaus in the UK:  Honesty  Be honest regarding bad design decisions. ‘Sharing knowledge means the industry can learn from mistakes rather than repeat them’ says Pete Warm, WARM. This was echoed by Gwyn Jones, Norwich City Council, who says ‘we should learn from each other.’ Constructive feedback will facilitate improvement within the industry as a...

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Why quality matters

Posted by on Aug 14, 2015 in news | Comments Off on Why quality matters

The recent article by Cartwright Pickard Architects in the Architects Journal, entitled ‘Are our homes making people sick?’ is a welcome addition to the research on comfort within new homes. Their findings, based on internal monitoring of environmental conditions, energy use, occupant behaviour and build quality checks, should make uncomfortable reading for everyone in the sector. The performance gap noted in a number of other studies is sadly replicated here. Ventilation systems were found to be poorly installed, commissioned and maintained, and most of the properties overheated. Poor indoor air quality was found in most of the properties.    However, I would have to take issue with the statement that ‘Improved energy efficiency in our homes may be having unintended consequences for occupants health’. The catalogue of issues highlighted in this research cannot really be described as unintended consequences, as they are entirely predictable, and the impact on occupant health is not down to energy efficiency. It is down to at best lacklustre MVHR design, shoddy installation, haphazard commissioning, and a toothless regulatory framework. The houses were all designed to meet Code for Sustainable Homes Levels 3 or 4, but it is evident that the checks in place within CfSH and Building Control assessments are incapable of preventing the issues Cartwright Pickard Architects uncovered. With the bonfire of regulations undertaken by the newly elected Government, it’s unlikely that this will improve in the short term.   The strategies proposed in the article, which include carefully considered heating and ventilation strategies, ensuring enough fresh air for occupants, fresh air supply in all habitable rooms, and balanced MHVR supply and extract rates, are all very sensible and could almost come from a Passivhaus introductory lecture. As Designers it’s clear to us how far from the UK norm Passivhaus requirements are. The photograph in the article, of flexible ductwork piled up in a heap within a presumably cold loftspace, reminiscent of the coils faced by Archibald Tuttle renegade heating engineer in Terry Gilliam’s ‘Brazil’, sums up all that is wrong with typical MVHR installations. Flexible ducts suffer high pressure losses and can easily be compressed, restricting airflow. If as it appears they are in a cold roof space a significant part of the heat recovered in the winter will be lost through them. Conversely, in the summer the heat built up within the loft space will be transferred into the ducts, exacerbating any overheating problem. In our role as Certifiers we require evidence that the MVHR system has been designed to the Passivhaus requirements, that appropriate components have been used and that the system has been commissioned correctly. An unbalanced system which does not meet the required flow rates will prevent a building being certified.   With the Code For Sustainable Homes, the Zero Carbon target and the Green Deal all scrapped, as the Passivhaus Trust have pointed out, there is now only one standard for those interested in low energy buildings. Passivhaus provides a robust methodology for the design installation and commissioning of MVHR systems, and as a result offers a real alternative to the catalogue of errors which is typical UK domestic ventilation. http://www.architectsjournal.co.uk/buildings/are-our-homes-making-people-sick/8687255.article?blocktitle=Building-Study&contentID=12205 http://cartwrightpickard.com/   Blog written by Karl...

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SPACE

Posted by on Aug 11, 2015 in news | Comments Off on SPACE

SPACE

    As an office where everyone generally arrives to work on a bike, we’re acutely aware of the dangers of cycling on busy roads. We thought we’d share this video, as the messages it’s presenting need as wide an audience as possible.      

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Turners Hill Road has been Passivhaus certified

Posted by on Jun 22, 2015 in news | Comments Off on Turners Hill Road has been Passivhaus certified

Turners Hill Road has been Passivhaus certified

We are very pleased by the news that Turners Hill Road, a development in West Sussex for Hastoe Housing Association, has been Passivhaus certified. PCKO, the Architects, worked closely with us to develop the design without compromising their vision for a contemporary interpretation of West Sussex vernacular. Using a double stud timber frame from Allwood provided the U-values needed, with careful detailing to ensure that the brick façade did not compromise performance. This is the first Passivhaus project undertaken by PMC, and their care and attention to detail was clear throughout the build process.         We are very proud to know that the Pheasantry (Known to us as Turners Hill Road) won the National Housing award for Best Sustainable Development. We are the Passivhaus...

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Spreadsheet Updated: Psi Calculation from THERM

Posted by on Feb 26, 2015 in news | Comments Off on Spreadsheet Updated: Psi Calculation from THERM

  Psi-Value Calculation from THERM Using Excel (v38) (881.5 KiB, 7,331 hits) Dear all, We have just uploaded a new version of our popular Psi Calculation from THERM spreadsheet. Version 36 features a space for you to paste your own company logo/address alongside ours. Enjoy!

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New Certification Checklist

Posted by on Dec 3, 2014 in news | Comments Off on New Certification Checklist

New Certification Checklist

  We want to make the certification process as simple as possible for everyone involved. To help you provide the evidence required at the design stage, we have updated our certification check list. This gives lots of examples and links to useful information.   We also have a site check list which explains what information is typically needed from the construction team. These documents can be found on our download page.

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New Ventilation Design and Commissioning Sheet for Download

Posted by on Jul 21, 2014 in news | Comments Off on New Ventilation Design and Commissioning Sheet for Download

We’ve just added a new resource to our downloads page! Over the last 6 months we’ve undertaken quite a lot of work on understanding ventilation systems and their commissioning.  We’ll be blogging on this in the near future, but in the meantime here’s a present for all those designers/commissioning engineers: a new vent design & commissioning sheet based on the PHI’s Excel sheet (see www.passiv.de). We’ve added a calculation to the Design tab to check compliance with the UK Part F 2010 (vent. building regulations) and a series of inputs on the Commissioning tab to discount background noise.  The latter allows measurements to be taken on site during commissioning and the results can immediately be checked to make sure that they comply with the Passivhaus noise criteria. Please do get in touch if you’d like us to undertake vent. design or commissioning on your project; we’ve had considerable experience of domestic and small commercial low energy projects.   Ventilation Commissioning Guidance and Design/Commissioning Worksheet (112.0 KiB, 6,115...

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Getting Ventilation Right

Posted by on Jul 17, 2014 in news | Comments Off on Getting Ventilation Right

Every so often the PHI release an updated Certifiers Almanac, a document which explains and clarifies technical issues raised by certifiers. The latest issue includes a section on ‘soft’ certification criteria. While most people are aware of the ‘hard’ criteria (15kWh/m2yr heating energy demand and so on), the soft criteria are less well known, but are of equal importance. Although the table on Passipedia http://www.passipedia.org/passipedia_en/planning/other_attributs_for_passive_houses divides these criteria into thermal comfort, user satisfaction, structural integrity & efficiency, in essence they all relate to making sure the building works properly, and that it is comfortable for its occupants. One issue that runs through all four sections is Ventilation, and I would like to look more closely at the issues relating to this. The examples given on Passipedia have all been seen by us over the past couple of years: Noisy MVHR systems MVHR system running at an extreme disbalance Air change rates to low or too high Unventilated rooms Insufficient air filter quality Correct installation and commissioning of MVHR systems is vitally important in helping to provide a high quality environment for building occupants. MVHR systems are very simple compared with a typical condensing combi boiler for instance, and there should be no reason why they cannot be designed, installed and commissioned well. If MVHR systems aren’t working effectively then certification will be put at risk, so we would urge designers to ensure they have specified the right unit with appropriate components, and that installers are aware of the importance of getting it right. Karl...

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