Practical real life examples show that a High Performance Build Energy Efficient home will be up to five times more energy efficient than a conventional build. According to the Fraunhofer Institute of Construction Physics, Stuttgart; “It takes the same amount of energy to condition a leaky home of 80m2 as an airtight home of 400m2”. The major problem with leaky homes is that due to high air infiltration and exfiltration, they are hard to keep heated or cooled.
The High Performance or Passive House Builds champion Airtightness. An energy-efficient home must be as airtight as possible.A handful of basic components working in synergy is needed to make this happen. A high-quality airtight building envelope system like SIGA membranes and tapes to wrap the structure, high-quality uPVC double glazing mitigating structural, thermal bridging and preventing drafts and an Energy Recovery System or HRV system that will perform the dual tasks of ventilation and energy recovery. This is important because the tighter a structure gets past 5ACH, the requirement for mechanical ventilation becomes a necessity to ensure a healthy internal air quality. Healthy internal environments maintaining around 50% humidity is an ideal requirement for a human, and deadly for mould, mildew and other bugs and viruses that cause illness.
Once the building envelope has been wrapped and or prior to handover, a blower door test is conducted to determine where there are leakage areas in the building fabric.Using a thermography camera, leakage in reference colours is identified easily. Essentially, using depressurisation and pressurisation runs of the structure, readings measured in ACH air changes per hour are taken and averaged. So a blower door test is critical to the final evaluation of a build. The air tightness, energy recovery and minimised thermal bridging results in a build that maintains a very stable consistent temperature throughout the home with greatly reduced requirements for heating-cooling loads.
Turning to operating efficiency, Stiebel Eltron’s Heat Pumps are second to none in their ability to literally make hot water out of the air with the minimal use of electricity! At its Croydon Hills performance build, Pure Eco Homes pioneered twin Heat Pumps for 700litres of hot water to cater to a large family’s needs. They are superbly engineered in Germany. Adding quality solar panels are now almost a necessary install on eco new builds, given the ever increasing cost of power.
Zero Emissions Planet can supply, install and advise on all aspects of products required for the High Performance, Passive House or Commercial Builds.