May 2022

Hunters offers Passive House Design to clients

Hunters architects are now providing Passive House (Passivhaus) design and planning as part of their services.  Around 5,000 professionals around the world have earned the internationally recognised certification. It demonstrates our positive approach to energy efficiency combining comfort with low energy consumption which can equate up to 90% reduction in space heating and cooling energy in typical building stock.  

The advantages of this type of design include high levels of comfort, consistent supply of fresh air, structural longevity (due to reduced moisture), low heating costs (needed now more than ever) and an improved indoor environment.

Passive House

Peter Gibson, Director commented ‘the certification enables us to design buildings and offer advice to clients, which ultimately will help us and our clients aim towards Net Zero through Low Energy building practice. This knowledge can be used in housing and other sectors to support clients in their sustainability targets and reduce the impact on the planet – including retrofits.’  

The advantages of Passive House.

For residents:

  • No draughts from cold surfaces or air infiltration in the winter
  • No cold radiance from surfaces and no cold feet
  • Minimised overheating in the summer
  • Improved internal air quality and noise reduction have health benefits
  • A reduction in fuel poverty as utility bills are 90% lower when compared with a conventional building

For clients:

  • Reduced rent arrears and lower void management and re-let costs
  • Lower carbon dioxide emissions through the burning of fossil fuels
  • Easy, reduced maintenance due to simple and efficient technology
  • Increased property values

The good news is it can be used on retrofit projects.

Michaela Jahn, Associate Director added ‘Delivering Passive House targets in sectors like care homes will help transform the environment for residents keeping a consistent internal temperature year-round. As energy costs explode, there is no better time to provide this service.’

So what is Passive House? ‘It is a building, for which thermal comfort (ISO 7730) can be achieved solely by post-heating or postcooling of the fresh air mass, which is required to achieve sufficient indoor air quality conditions – without the need for additional recirculation of air.’

Basic design decisions such as massing, orientation and window size are fundamental to achieving the standard. Unlike other energy standards, Passive House must be embedded from the earliest stages of the design process.

  • Passive House is based around five key principles:
  • Thermal insulation
  • Highly insulating windows
  • Ventilation with heat recovery via an MVHR unit
  • Airtightness construction
  • Thermal bridge free design

It bridges the all-too-common performance gap between prediction, seen when using building regulations SAP calculations, and reality reducing energy consumption by design, rather than relying on renewables to offset carbon.

For more information, please contact p.gibson@hunters.co.uk or m.jahn@hunters.co.uk.

Passive House Designer Peter
Passive House Designer Michaela