With this project we were amongst the first practices in the UK to design a building using the ‘Passivhaus’ criteria. This family home in Highgate has super-insulated walls, triple-glazed windows and heat-recovery ventilation to keep heat loss to an absolute minimum. The marginal energy loss is offset by the energy generated from solar panels and micro-CHP plant. In simple terms, the design of a ‘Passivhaus’ is straightforward…super insulate it, make it extremely air tight, use heat-recovery ventilation and the job is done.
The design challenge was to meet these requirements in a way that produces a house which is desirable, affordable and acceptable to planners and neighbours. This house was experimental in that we developed new details to overcome thermal bridging in the masonry.