lessons 1-4

we have been practicing  ‘eco-design’ since  long before words like sustainability and carbon emissions were commonplace

although the details are complex, the principles of ‘green’ ‘eco’ ‘sustainable’  architecture  are simple:

lesson one : insulation, insulation, insulation

the first principle of eco-design is to insulate as much as possible:

working to the passivhaus standard suggests achieving a u-value of ± 1.0 for the major elements of the building

lesson two : airtightness

recent research underlines the importance of  good airtightness

in order to avoid draughts + control ventilation:

the passivhaus standard seeks to reduce this down to 0.6 ac/hr

lesson three : comfort ventilation [mvhr]

in order to achieve the good + healthy air quality needed, a central mechanical ventilation system is normally used, which can be made extremely efficient by adding a heat recovery unit

four : passive solar

we try to maximise passive solar gain, balanced with shading to avoid summer over-heating [we’ve all been fried inside over-heated conservatories in june]:

passive solar depends on site, shading + orientation