paper igloo architecture and design

Building Warrant submission & Sustainability Gold

August 15, 2013

Building Warrant Submission:

We have now submitted our Building Warrant application to Stirling Council.... It has been a more protracted process than usual due to our aim of also achieving the Gold Standard for Section 7: Sustainability! Aspects such as a more demanding acoustic performance for all internal partitions and intermediate floors in the category 'Well being and Security', and specifying low-flow fittings and an external water butt in the category 'Water use efficiency' have meant that we will need to spend a bit more money during construction but it should be worth it in the end....

Our SAP calculation came out with an excellent Band 'A', and by virtue of the PV array nearly carbon neutral. It estimated our annual fuel costs would be £386.75 per year with £386.52 recouped per annum (based obviously on the current feedback tariff and not the one that will actually be in play by the time we build), leaving a net cost of £0.22!! Whether this proves to be the case in reality will be interesting - the PHPP calculation is a far more accurate methodology for calculating energy balance compared to SAP (and the reason why sometimes Passivhaus buildings do not seemingly perform as well as expected in a SAP calculation) so now that the Warrant Application is out of the way we can re-visit this in more depth. Whatever the actual costs turn out to be we are certainly looking forward to our first winter fuel bill!!

MEARU:

We recently had a good chat with Dr Tim Sharpe (one of our university tutors from the MAC) who also runs MEARU (Mackintosh Environmental Architecture Research Unit) at his office with regard to his experience monitoring Passivhaus and other low energy buildings. From their research they are finding sometimes considerable differences between design aspiration and actual performance, particularly in reference to low energy buildings, which is really interesting as many proponents of the Passivhaus PHPP methodology cite it's accuracy as a key factor in choosing to go fully Passivhaus. We are now going to investigate whether there is any scope for getting funding for monitoring our house, as obviously the earlier any equipment can be integrated into the systems the easier it is to check everything is performing as it should. Interesting indeed!