Richmond passivhaus

Typology: 
Residential
Status: 
In progress
2011

A new build Passivhaus project for private clients in Richmond, creating an extremely low energy 3 bedroom house on this end of terrace site. Incorporating green roofs for biodiversity in a contemporary piece of architectural design using the fabric-first energy saving principals of the Passivhaus methodology.  Renewables include water harvesting, recycling and domestic hot water heating.

This would have been Richmond’s first Certified Passivhaus, capable of being easily upgraded in the future to zero carbon by the addition of renewable technologies. The house has been designed to achieve CfSH level 5.  The Passivhaus standard achieves an extremely energy efficient building fabric, able to meet the code level 6 building fabric performance criteria.

To comply with code level 5, this design includes for solar thermal water heating, PV panels for onsite electricity generation, green roofs for biodiversity and to reduce rainwater run-off, low flow sanitary appliances for water conservation with a rainwater harvesting tank located under the lower ground floor, energy efficient lighting and highly environmentally friendly materials throughout.  Natural day lighting has been carefully considered to limit the need for artificial lighting. In addition to these measures a bike store has been provided at the front of the house for easy access and a separate bin and recycling store has been incorporated adjacent to the rear door, close to the kitchen, for easy of use. It was the intention to fit highly visible smart meters within the entrance area to help the users manage the energy use of the house.

The new house added 45.66 m2 of green space through deep planters (20.66 m2) able to support substantial native plants and a native wild flower meadow roof (25 m2).  The proposal included integrated bird and bat boxes. The main roof was to be covered with sufficient soil build up (150mm) for wild flower planting. The extensive roof planting will help to improve microclimate and local ecology.

To address the issues of climate change and possible water shortages the new house was designed with a rainwater harvesting tank located under the lower ground floor, harvesting water from the green roof, terraces and planters to be used for toilet flushing and irrigation for the plants.  The house was further future proofed with provision for on-site water heating through solar collectors (to cover around 60% of the annual demand) and provision for on-site electrical energy generation with a PV array.  Climate warming will be addresses by the super insulated walls and green roofs which will protect the internal spaces from over heating in the summer in conjunction with automatically controlled solar blinds on south eastern facades.