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Where Next

Posted by lecerveau , 21 January 2016 · 1,141 views

The initial brief for the house was:

Passivhaus standards
U-value of walls of 0.1W/(m2.K)
Passive slab floor with 0.1W/(m2.K)
low U-values, typically 0.85 to 0.70 W/(m².K) for the entire window including the frame, Triple glazing with built in blinds.
Underfloor Heating with individual room/hall/passageway controls
Mechanical Heat Recovery Ventilation with demand control
Ground Source Heat Pump and Solar water heating
Photo Voltaic Tiles (not panels)
Rain Water harvesting
Waste Water heat recovery
Whole downstairs wheelchair accessible including garage, all on same level
Lift to first floor, wheel chair compatible and enclosed
Central Data Distribution
USB charging sockets in all rooms (built in to 13amp sockets)
LED lighting throughout
Sun tunnel to windowless rooms
Building wide WiFi with repeaters as required

There were 20 pages of elaboration and ideas after this.

One important point to note is that the house is on mains gas so this will need to be factored in as I go.

A couple of key early decisions the main structure will be ICF (exact type yet to be decided) and the first floor will be concrete (pre stressed or cast in situ). The main reason being I have a 10.5m span on the ground floor so there is nothing else that will do this sort of gap other than steel. I want the large open plan space so this is the consequence.
See the plans with dimensions below (Pre planning roof alteration but doesn’t matter):
Attached File  GF-plan.pdf (100.07K)
downloads: 81
Attached File  FF-plan.pdf (88.45K)
downloads: 57
We want integral blinds in our windows and the only people who do this internorm so we will be fitting KV440 throughout except the little window in the walk-in wardrobe that doesn’t need blinds so that will be a KF410. I have been unable to find any other manufacturer who does integral blinds and meets Passivhaus standards.
We definitely want underfloor heating, however after reading Jeremys blog, I am not convinced by individual room controls, whole slab/house temp control (more work and investigation required).
MVHR, a no brainer, however I was looking at demand control, utilising humidity sensitive extract valves, I have found 2: Helios AE range and Aereco BXC, put these in all extract rooms coupled to a constant pressure system, but this can be finessed later as long as I make the initial allowances for ducting the finer details can be done later.
Ground Source Heat Pump and Solar Thermal, there are probably going to be binned, GSHP is expensive and we have mains gas so why, and Solar Thermal, again reading Jeremys blogs PV makes more sense. As for PV tiles well wait and see what I finally put on the roof, either way it will be in the roof not on.
Rainwater harvesting, I would like to put in but not essential, even if I only managed to capture half the roofs rain sensibly.
Waste Water Heat Recovery, the ground floor shower will be a problem, getting a horizontal unit 120mm high in the slab with the correct wet room fall (wheelchair access) and then fall to the soil stack all in the slab without compromising the insulation. The 4 upstairs showers should be easier and can possible be paired together requiring just 2 vertical units. I still want to fit them.
Obviously the whole ground floor is wheelchair accessible with a lift to the upper floor, so I can design in the lift and have it flush, no annoying little (50mm) ramp on entry.
Central Data Distribution, the whole house will be flood wired with network cable, TV points, phone points, etc, with a central hob (node zero) in the attic.
USB charging sockets, might as well, they are readily available and gets rid of a lot of wall warts.
LED lighting, low energy no brainer.
Sun Tunnel, I am having second thoughts as all the ones I find have horrendous thermal properties.
Building wide Wi-Fi, goes with the network wiring, the repeaters will be designed in wiring in place to cover the whole house.

This was my initial list and current thoughts on them, there are a lot of other issues as well such as DHW flow rates, cold water accumulator to support the bathrooms, Earth Air Heat Exchangers, Micro CHP, I could go on.

I will quiz the collected knowledge for advice once I have researched what I can on the forums/blogs and then raise each one of the main topics as its own blog entry once decided.
We will not start the house build until 2017 and as such we have this year to sort out the detail. It will also be a contract job (I am currently in the Netherlands) so I want to get the specification tied down a tightly as possible to avoid those changes (that cost), We are looking at putting it out to tender towards the end of the year so I have until then to get the specs right.



For wide wifi coverage try the ubiquiti access points, they give good coverage and seamless handover if more than one access point in use.
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This is one of the AP's I was looking at last year. However as I will not build until next year and these will be one of the last items installed, I am in no hurry to decide, plus the rate of change in the IT world will probably mean there will be another standard beyond ac and other options by the time I come to purchase. The important thing is to allow for multiple AP and I am thinking 4, 2 per floor basically at each end of the house. Probably overkill but with solid construction and a concrete first floor, I would rather be safe in my provisioning of Network Access Points with PoE ready for the AP's and if I don't have to fit 4 then no great loss.
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PeterStarck
22 Jan 2016 09:31 AM
Your ideas are interesting because our wall/roof and floor U factors are the same as yours, as are the windows. We have decided not to have heating and to keep systems as simple as possible with our design. We looked into ground/air heat exchangers as part of the MHRV and a host of other technologies and found we couldn't justify using them. This is partly because we live in the south east of England and the weather isn't extreme enough. It will be interesting following your blog. Good luck with the build.
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ThomasFroehlich
22 Jan 2016 08:20 PM
Regarding the Blinds for the windows. Have you considered the option of using Roller blinds with a hidden box above the windows which are not visible from the outside so that you have blinds on your fixed and openable windows and not only on the openable ones like for your second floor bedroom?
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Thomas, we had considered roller blinds, and we actually have them in our current house here in the Netherlands, that is one reason we want blinds in our windows. They are brilliant for blackout and shading, however they rattle in a strong wind. We only have the one small window without the build-in blinds, we are not overlay fussed and if it needs a blind an add-on in the wardrobe would be acceptable. We may will however still consider external roller shutters for the windows instead of the internal ones as internorm also offer that option.
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Re blinds in windows, Nordan also do them.

We briefly considered this, a house up the road has them, tripple glazed with integral venetian blinds.

It sounded a good idea so I went and had a look, and I did not like the detail.

Basically it was a 2G window, then a blind on the OUTSIDE and a third separate and openable pain on the outside (openable when the main window is opened inwards)

The BIG problem with this arrangement is the cords that operate the venetian blinds have to pass through holes in the 2G frame.

Once I pointed out the shortcomings of this system, SWMBO agreed integral blinds were no longer on the wish list, and we have gone for Rationel triple glazed as they were only slightly worse than internorm in terms of Uw, but half the price.
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I don't wish to put you off Internorm, that's who I'm going with for my window package and for me they were cheaper than Rationel, but aren't their integral blinds only on opening windows? ie. between the 3G unit and a 4th pane that you can open once the sash has been opened.

Norrsken do an option with the blind inside the 3G unit so can be on fixed sashes also. Personally I viewed this as a warranty issue, but have no experience to back this up.

My final decision is to go with concealed venetian (Hunter Douglas) external blinds, but I do also like the external roller solution.
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samuelsimon
30 Jan 2016 12:04 PM

PeterStarck, on 22 January 2016 - 09:31 AM, said:

Your ideas are interesting because our wall/roof and floor U factors are the same as yours, as are the windows. We have decided not to have heating and to keep systems as simple as possible with our design. We looked into ground/air heat exchangers as part of the MHRV and a host of other technologies and found we couldn't justify using them. This is partly because we live in the south east of England and the weather isn't extreme enough. It will be interesting following your blog. Good luck with the build.

Hi Peter. Have I correctly understood your new build will have no heating system?
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PeterStarck
31 Jan 2016 09:42 AM
According to the PHPP our space heating requirement is very low and can be met by the Genvex Combi 185. This provides warm air through the ventilation ducts by a built in EAHP. If the temperature remained below -10C for any length of time I would just use a small fan heater.
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There is little point in having internal zoning in a house of this spec, as the effective internal U values are on order of magnitude higher than external ones. Pumping heat or cold air into any one room is just going to imbalance the rest of the environment.

Also designing your cooling solution is going to be as important as your heading solution.
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