Curtain-Walling-Sample.jpgNew Centre for Medicine, the Largest Passivhaus Building in the UK

Once completed the new Centre for Medicine will be the largest building in the UK built to the Passivhaus standard, this means that the building will use very little additional energy for heating or cooling.  Passivhaus design concentrates on the fabric and construction of the building, the picture right shows the curtain walling being constructed under strict factory conditions off-site to ensure that quality standards for insulation and fittings are retained.  The walls will be delivered as units and lifted into place by the cranes.  To find out more about Passivhaus visit the Passivhaus Trust website.

Managing a Passivhaus Construction Project

Passivhaus standards are very high and in order to ensure success projects need to be managed at every stage.  Golden rules for managing a Passivhaus project include:

  • Minute attention to design detail - translating the design concept to construction without cutting any corners.
  • Regular toolbox talks to all the operatives on the site to express the importance of installation quality, thereby ensuring that the people doing the work build the project as designed.
  • Elemental testing and quality monitoring throughout the construction period to ensure that the required standards are being met.

pipehole.jpgGround Air Heat Exchanger

Air sucked into the building will go through a ground air heat exchanger, the circular hole pictured is the entry point for the exchanger.  The ground 2 metres deep beneath the surface of the Centre for Medicine site is a constant 16 degrees centigrade.  Buried beneath the basement of the building is a 1.6 kilometre network of pipes through which the outside air will be transported heating (or cooling) it to a temperature of 16 degrees.  Whether the external temperature is minus 5 or plus 30 the building systems will be working to provide a comfortable temperature for building users at low cost in terms of carbon and £££.

The picture below shows the full site showing the depth of the basement.


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