Sunday, 23 October 2011

We get our Passivhaus Certification

This week we had a little ceremony to mark getting our formal Passivhaus Certification. Rob Hopkins, of the Transition Network, kindly came to handover our newly gained certificate.

We have now been in the house just over two months and we are "looking forward" to a decent winter, to give the house a bit of a test. We are probably going to want to make some adjustments to our ventilation, once we have started using it to transport the small amounts of heat around the house. More on this in a future post.

From left to right: Janet Cotterell - Passivhaus architect, me - Passivhaus energy modelling (and client), Jonathan Williams - Passivhaus builder, Joe Bellows - one of the Passivhaus contractor team, Peter Warm - Passivhaus Certifier.


  1. austria fm radio onlineThanks for share of nice information about this.i never seen such type of information

  2. Congratulations on your PassivHaus certification Adam!! What a wonderful achievement. And for the blog documenting the process. All the best, Sylvia Juzwa

  3. Keep blogging! How was the winter?

  4. Thanks for your comments and encouragement. I've written a short section in our new book, the Passivhaus Handbook (out in the autumn) about life in the Totnes Passivhaus. I will do a post with this excerpt from the book.

  5. Thank you for doing this blog and more importantly your book, which I've bought a copy of as well as getting my local library to stock it.

    It would be great to have another blog update on life in your house, when you have time.

    Also, there is very little information about I-Tech shading on the internet and I'd love to know how you have found it. Particularly issues like the solar powering of it and how much light is transmitted when they are closed. Do the blinds rattle at all in strong winds?

    Also, the control mechanism interests me, as I'm contemplating whether it could be integrated into a home automation system, so they could be opened automatically in the morning, closed at night or when the temperature reaches X degrees.

    Internorm have next to nothing on their website about it sadly. Maybe I'll just have to try and buy one small window from somewhere to play with before putting in an order!

  6. Thanks for your comments Will. Yes, I think you are right. I will do an update. There is a chapter in the book on Living in a Passivhaus, however I think that this is an area that needs more systematic study here in the UK, the information in our book is limited; however, we do have a section on living in the Totnes Passivhaus.
    Briefly, re the windows, I think that Internorm do offer automation options. The blinds don't move in the wind and do seem to provide effective shading, not that we have had much/any significantly hot weather since we moved in! The blinds do not completely darken the room but they make a big difference – no need for heavy lined curtains. The main problems with windows of this type with integral blinds is that they require more cleaning – there are four glazed surfaces to clean rather than two. Also, our windows tend to collect flies in the autumn, although I understand that Internorm are addressing this issue – they haven’t approached me yet. The other problem is that the U-value of these windows (0.93 with the blinds open) is not quite good enough for Passivhaus; they consist of a double glazed unit with a vented tertiary pane, rather than a sealed tripled glazed unit. We were only able to use them because our local climate is warm enough (just). In most parts of the UK, we would have had to use higher performance windows to meet the Passivhaus standard. Internorm do offer a 3 + 1 version of the window, with a triple glazed unit with narrow spacers and a fourth pane containing the blinds, however, in my opinion, this is not a very satisfactory solution because the triple glazed component uses krypton (see the book for an explanation about the issues with krypton and xenon) rather than argon and because, having a total of four panes of glass means that the g-value of the window will be lower than is ideal. The windows will also be very heavy! And expensive!
    I hope that helps.

  7. Adam, that's super helpful, thank you very much. As further thanks, I will make sure I leave a very positive review of your book on Amazon!

  8. The recent hot weather has got me thinking about solar shading again for our refurb project and I remembered about your Internorm windows and wondered how you are finding them now it's hot?