passivehouse+ | Issue 11
News Prefabrication key for upscaling passive house — de Bruycker
Leading passive house architect and builder Bram de Bruycker has said that prefabrication is crucial to upscaling of the passive house standard. De Bruycker has vast experience of building homes, schools, offices and public buildings to the passive house standard, and currently serves as technical director of Londonbased passive house design-and-build business Princedale Homes. Princedale Homes and passive house window and timber frame supplier GreenSteps have recently joined forces to launch Naked House, a new totally prefabricated passive house timber frame system, with windows and first fix installed off site. In an article published on the Passive House Plus website, de Bruycker emphasises why he believes prefabrication is so important for delivering the quality of passive house at scale. “In the clean covered environment of a production
hall, it is possible to work in shifts and produce more houses, but also to deliver a perfect product with quality control that gives the end user a guarantee the system will deliver what it’s built for,” he writes. He adds that, in his view, building a timber frame passive house entirely on site from pre-cut timber is labour intensive, has a higher risk of errors, and requires intensive training of everyone on site. He also writes that while prefabricating an open panel system and insulating it on site is better for quality control, it is still inefficient as lorries transport empty panels, and the frame is still left exposed to wind and rain on site. In the blog post, he advocates for a “highly engineered prefabricated panel system” in which as many building elements as possible — inner and outer boards, insulation, wind and
weather membrane, airtight layer and even windows and outside cladding materials — are installed in the factory. He continues: “My experience has taught me that the future of construction is the fully prefabricated system where the dry environment of manufacturing gives you the opportunity to have an efficient quality control system, and a 100% success rate in delivering a draughtproof building envelope.” You can read the full blog post at: www.passivehouseplus.ie, and find out more information about Naked House at: www.nakedhouse.co.uk (above) The GreenSteps timber frame factory in Latvia, where pre-fabricated panels are produced, including pre-installed first fix plumbing, electrical ducting and windows
Target Zero to train builders in passive house in China Leading passive house training centre and consultancy Target Zero has agreed a new collaboration with a Bejing-based company to provide a course in passive house construction in the Chinese capital this June. It is just the latest in a series of exciting developments for Target Zero, the company’s Darren O’Gorman told Passive House Plus. O’Gorman also said that the company is currently on site with a number of projects that are nearing completion, including an Enerphit in Rathgar, Dublin by Pat Doran Construction, 13 passive
sheltered housing units in Baldoyle, Dublin for Cowper Care, and a new build house in Cheshire by IGG group that is aiming for the newly announced passive house premium certification class – meaning the building will not only be a passive house, but a genuinely net zero energy user. Target Zero runs regular passive house designer and passive house tradesperson course at its own training centre at the Institute of Technology, Carlow, at the Centre of Refurbishment Excellence in Stoke-On-Trent, and in London. For course details and dates visit
www.targetzero.ie The company also provides passive house consultancy. “I have noticed a substantial increase in requests for PHPP assessments for new builds both in the UK and Ireland recently,” O’Gorman said. He added that in response to strong demand for in-company passive house training in the UK & Ireland, Target Zero also offers tailored theory and practical training with flexible dates and affordable rates. Clients this year have include MBC Timber Frame, RG Carter, Grosvenor UK, and Clioma House.