Some of the UK’s leading experts in the design of energy efficient buildings will gather at The University of Nottingham on Wednesday 7 November and Thursday 8 November 2012.
They will be joined by two 5th year architecture students from The University of Nottingham who will be living in two specially designed and built ‘student bedrooms’ alongside the conference venue. The ‘Pod’ experiment will demonstrate the savings that can be achieved by using the Passivhaus standard of ultra-low energy building design.
The UK Passivhaus Conference 2012 also features sell-out tours of Passivhaus buildings, including the Nottingham H.O.U.S.E (Home Optimising the Use of Solar Energy) which has now found a permanent home on Green Close — a ‘street’ of residential and experimental eco-homes on University Park. Delegates will be the first members of the public to view the Nottingham H.O.U.S.E in its new location. Designed and built to the Passivhaus standard by a team of architecture students, the Nottingham H.O.U.S.E was the UK entry in the International Solar Decathlon Europe Competition in 2010 where it picked up an award for its sustainability credentials.
Passivhaus buildings provide a high level of occupant comfort while using very little energy for heating and cooling. They are built with meticulous attention to detail and rigorous design and construction according to principles developed by the Passivhaus Institute in Germany, and can be certified through an exacting quality assurance process. Over 30,000 Passivhaus buildings have been built in Europe and interest in Passivhaus is growing in the UK, with at least 150 units either certified or in progress.
Professor Mark Gillott, Co-Director of the Institute of Sustainable Energy Technology at The University of Nottingham, will be chairing the two day conference. He said: “I am delighted that the UK Passivhaus Conference will be held this year at The University of Nottingham, it’s great to be hosting such a significant event here in the Midlands. Passivhaus buildings achieve a 75 per cent reduction in space heating requirements, compared to standard practice for UK new build. The Passivhaus standard therefore gives a robust method to help the industry achieve the 80 per cent carbon reductions that are set as a legislative target for the UK Government. Evidence and feedback to date shows that Passivhaus buildings are performing to a very high standard, which is crucial, given that the discrepancy between design aspiration and as-built performance for many new buildings in the UK can be as much as 50-100 per cent.”
Industry specialists Church Lukas, Saint Gobain, Factory Homes and GB Construction together with The University of Nottingham have come together to demonstrate just how easy it is to use Passivhaus principles. The ‘Pod’ experiment will be carried out by two 5th year architecture students who will spend one night in the two bedrooms — one built to the Passivhaus standard and the other to conventional UK building regulations. Special monitoring equipment will track and compare their energy consumption and comfort conditions.
The students, Tom Simmons and Joseph Yates, will spend the night of the 7 November in the ‘pod’. PhD student, Vasilis Sougkakis, will record the quantity of energy needed to keep both rooms comfortable to show the difference between the Passivhaus room and the Building Regulations room. The results will be presented at the conference on 8 November.
The differences in terms of appearance are so subtle that the two rooms are hard to tell apart. As a test of their knowledge and expertise conference delegates are being offered the chance to ‘spot the difference’ and guess which room is which.
The conference, organised by the Passivhaus Trust and Building Research Establishment (BRE), will hear from leading political speakers from the UK and across Europe. Delegates will hear about the latest academic and industry research and discuss the lessons learnt as energy saving designs are developed.
Among the speakers will be Clemens Haury (European Commission Directorate General for Energy), Bob Ledsome (Deputy Director, Head of the Climate Change and Sustainable Development team, at the Department for Communities and Local Government) and architects of award winning Passivhaus buildings.
The Passivhaus tours coincide with the International Passivhaus Association’s 9th annual International Passivhaus Days — 9-11 November 2012 — when owners and residents of Passive House buildings open their properties to the public. Delegates will be joining tours to Interserve’s Passivhaus office in Leicester; a residential Passivhaus development at Samson Close in Coventry;and Oakmeadows Passivhaus Primary school in Wolverhampton.
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