Work starts on WARM’s new low energy office premises

Posted by on Mar 25, 2013 in Warm EnerPHit office | Comments Off on Work starts on WARM’s new low energy office premises

Hi, I’m Emma. I’ve just joined WARM’s support team and I’m in time to see work on the low energy office project kick off, so I’ll be following progress each week and letting you know what’s happening. It’s a learning curve for me as I’m new to Passivhaus, and I’m looking forward to finding out more.

WARM low energy office is a project to provide a demonstration office for us, and is a retrofit of a first floor flat above a shop premises right in the heart of Plymouth. By super insulating to the Passivhaus Retrofit (“EnerPHit”) standard a building of typical UK construction, WARM will be able to demonstrate that saving energy can improve the working environment and provide excellent air quality and comfort at the same time.

Super insulation is a key element of achieving the standard, so the building will be insulated with 250mm of insulation on the walls, finished with render so that the appearance of the building will not be altered, and 300mm insulation in the roof. The most important feature will be the airtightness which will be achieved with great attention to the design and construction detail. The windows will be replaced with super low energy triple glazed units that will provide good daylight and the doors will also be upgraded for warmth and airtightness. To give a plentiful supply of fresh air that doesn’t waste heat, a ventilation unit with a heat exchanger will be installed.

Once the building is completed (in early June 2013), WARM will move in and continue our gradual expansion. Clients will be able to experience the benefits of Passivhaus building for themselves and students on the Passivhaus Design courses taught by WARM will be able to study the installation first hand.

Week 1

Work starts! Foundation steels for the balcony have gone in. The drains are redone to accept a repositioned soil stack and minimise the drain penetrations through walls. It’s vital to ensure that any services coming into the building are positioned carefully to minimise thermal bridging and adverse impacts on air tightness.

Week 2

The floorboards are lifted, the old electrical and heating cables and pipework are stripped out and the space is filled with Warmcell 500 cellulose insulation. This is in preparation for putting a new airtight layer on top of the floor, which will consist of hardboard, an airtight breather membrane, a sound-absorbing foam and a top of OSB (Oriented Strand Board). The floor will be sealed to the plaster all the way round the outside. Scaffolding is up ready for the next stage of insulation.