With Ecobuild in full swing, Bill Butcher from the Green Building Store and our regular Passivhaus blogger picks out some of the shows highlights
Ecobuild is overwhelmingly vast this year. Now spreading across two floors with over 1000 exhibitors, several of us from Green Building Store are popping down to various events during the three days.
Despite, in my opinion, the eco-bling and greenwash in many parts of it, it is good to see that Passivhaus ideas are beginning to make it onto the radar at this year’s event.
At one of the conference sessions yesterday – ‘Second generation sustainability – zero carbon without the bling’ - David Strong from Inbuilt was strongly promoting the Passivhaus approach in a debate with Gaia Architect’s Howard Liddell.
Liddell, himself a keen advocate of eco-minimalism, was expressing his concerns about mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (MVHR) air quality and filter replacement issues.
Concerns about air quality seem to be cropping up a lot, so it is good that the AECB is hosting an Ecobuild ‘Fringe’ event on MVHR ventilation and indoor air quality on Thursday (14.15-15.45 at the Mall Room).
It is good to see that Passivhaus ideas are beginning to make it onto the radar at this year’s event
Green Building Store’s ventilation specialist Andrew Farr will be trying to address these concerns, as well as offering an interactive discussion of MVHR technology.
Other Passivhaus happenings of note include the Nottingham H.O.U.S.E. This claims to be both Passivhaus and Code level 6 and appears to be built using Passivhaus principles, though we haven’t been able to corroborate whether it had been designed using PHPP or is going for Passivhaus certification.
Seminars worth looking out for today include ‘Learning from the best examples of Passivhaus standards’ where Dr Berthold Kaufman of the Passivhaus institute will be speaking. (Wednesday 3rd March 12.30-14.00, RICS Theatre, Level 2).
Consultants Inbuilt will also be holding a Passivhaus party with free drinks and a chance to meet the firm’s Passivhaus team on (Wednesday 3rd March 16.30 – 18.00) at stand 1362, while tomorrow there will be demonstrations of the Passivhaus Planning Package (PHPP) software at the AECB stand (Thursday 4th all day).
For us the fabric of a building and the way it is put together is the most important aspect, so other things that caught our eye at Ecobuild were the TeploTie basalt wall ties (Ancon Building products, stand 2230). These are the wall ties we used on the Denby Dale project have now been launched in the UK – offering ultra low thermal conductivity (0.7W/mK).
Consultants Inbuilt will also be holding a Passivhaus party with free drinks and a chance to meet the firm’s Passivhaus team
Eden bloc by Second Nature is a new wool fibreboard internal insulation product offering an alternative to synthetic foam materials with high thermal performance (0.035W/mK) and vapour permeability.
Elsewhere there was Calsitherm Climate Board by Ecological Building System, which is a new ‘diffusion open capillary active’ calcium silicate interior insulation, ideal for internal insulation of historic and older buildings, where water vapour can be a problem.
Still on the subjects of insulation, Pavawall external insulation board by Natural Building Technologies is a new wood fibreboard external insulation made from wood waste, with a thermal conductivity of 0.040W/mK.
It is always difficult finding rooflights with low U values, so it is encouraging to see a new product by FTT Thermo rooflight which claims to have a whole window U value of 0.68.
Also worth checking out is the Good Homes Alliance project on post-occupancy monitoring and feedback on low energy homes and today’s seminar ‘Getting out of the hot water’, focusing on the need to reduce hot water consumption as a means of cutting energy use. (Wednesday 3rd March, 14.30-16.00, Victoria Room).
Good luck and don’t get too lost!
Bill Butcher is director of the Green Building Store
Look out for Building's video of Nottingham H.O.U.S.E. later today on our website