PASSIVE HOUSE: AN INTRODUCTION
The Scottish Passive House Centre (Part 2 of 2)
Steff Bell, BSC (Hons) Certified Passive House Designer
You can read part one of Steff's series here.
The Passive House Standard has been growing in popularity in the UK over the past few years with a large variety of buildings achieving certification.
In the second part of his series Certified Passive House Designer, Steff Bell, describes how the Scottish Passive House Centre (SPHC) is a rich source of education and advice on Passive House buildings.
THE SCOTTISH PASSIVE HOUSE CENTRE
The Scottish Passive House Centre is a privately owned company based in Rosyth, Fife. Founded in 2009, the SPHC has specialists in all areas of the Passive House Standard and provides a range of services to help its clients achieve Passive House buildings.
The SPHC was officially opened in June 2011 by Keith Brown MSP, Scottish Minister for Housing, Transport and Infrastructure. As one of the first events Mr Brown attended as Minister, the subject matter has struck a chord and there have been subsequent requests from Mr Brown’s office and other departments within the Government to arrange future visits to completed Passive House projects and the centre.
SPHC SERVICES AND TRAINING
Consultancy, design and certification
The SPHC has certified the majority of current Passive House buildings constructed in Scotland as well as a number throughout the U.K. The SPHC was responsible for the certification of the first Passive House building in Scotland (Tigh-Na-Cladach, Dunoon) and the first certified Passive House building in England (Underhill House, Warwickshire).
It is important to plan passive House buildings from the outset of a project. The SPHC helps with the detailed planning and calculations that are required to assure that buildings will achieve certification. The Scottish Passive House Centre currently has certified 14 Passive House buildings with around a further 11 projects under construction and approaching certification. SPHC has developed customised procedural systems for Passive House consultancy which help to improve construction quality, consistency and certification approval.
The Centre also provides an architectural design service for clients who wish to streamline projects and reduce the numbers of design team members. This service also allows the SPHC to understand first hand all aspects of project work and improve further the services and training which they provide. An example of this is the SPHC’s Auchinloch project which is a one and a half storey house just outside Glasgow which is nearing completion and certification.
While it is best to plan Passive House buildings from the very beginning of a project it is also possible to certify post completion (although this is not recommended), as long as a building has been constructed according to Passive House criteria, passes all relevant calculation and testing and has evidence of products, materials and construction detailing which has been used it can be possible to certify.
The SPHC helps to teach the Certified European Passive House (CEPH) course with Strathclyde University which trains professionals such as architects and engineers to become Passive House designers. The SPHC has developed a showroom and training facility which allows people to see first-hand products and materials that are suitable for Passive House construction; this provides a training experience which is both practical and academic. This is a unique facility in the UK not just Scotland.
The SPHC is also providing a full range of training in all areas of Passive House design and calculation which also allows them to collaborate and partner with a number of academic bodies including Edinburgh Napier University and Carnegie College. This training also focuses on trades training through a combination of site CPD, tool box talks and helping to implement the Passive House standard to the teaching programmes in Scottish colleges.
A PASSIVE FUTURE
The Scottish Passive House Centre has seen a large increase in interest in Passive House buildings over the last couple of years and this seems set to rise further over the coming years.
The intention of the Centre is to grow with this demand and to help as much as possible in the development of the standard in the UK. This development will be helped by further training and seminar events we also hope to host the first Scottish Passive House Conference in Fife in 2012.
Larger and more diverse projects as well as our SPHC approved scheme which is set for launch in 2012 which will give designers, contractors, products and materials the SPHC stamp of approval for use in Passive House construction making it easier than ever to embark on Passive House projects across the UK.
The Dormont Estate Passive House development
This Dormont Estate Passive House development is the largest so far in Scotland and has been achieved through the Scottish Government’s Rural Homes for Rent pilot scheme. The four semi-detached houses achieved certification with a space heating demand of 14 – 15 kWh/(m²a) and a heating load of 10 W/(m²).
Client: Mr J A Carruthers
Architects: White Hill Design Studio – David J Major
Builder: CCG – OSM (Campbell Construction Group)
Construction: CCG IQ System / Timber Frame PH
Consultant: Scottish Passive House Centre.
This project is one of the first of its kind in the UK and it will provide a working example of how this type of housing scheme could be used on a wider scale within Scotland and the United Kingdom.