Malcolm Taylor

Passivhaus: balancing comfortable living with energy efficiency

  • 18 Jul 2016

Malcolm Taylor, Product Manager, REHAU discusses the growing recognition in the Passivhaus market of the importance of balancing comfortable living with energy efficiency.

In my last post, I previewed the Passivhaus Awards, of which REHAU was a main sponsor, which took place on 7th July. It was a truly inspiring event and details of the winners and photographs from the event are now available here.

Malcolm Taylor (left) with the team from REHAU and the winning architects at the 2016 Passivhaus Awards

Malcolm Taylor (left) with the team from REHAU and the winning architects at the 2016 Passivhaus Awards.

Both of the projects chosen for the rural and urban winners were very impressive builds, and I’d like to pass on my personal congratulations to HLM Architects for Tigh na Croit and Techtonics Architects for Lansdowne Drive.

The Awards were about more than just picking a winner though. With more than 80 delegates in attendance, they were also about reviewing where the market is heading and looking at the trends which are emerging.

Special Feature debate

In the Special Feature debate which took place after the judging programme, what became clear to me was that there is a growing recognition in the Passivhaus market of the importance of balancing comfortable living with energy efficiency.

Phrases I heard over and over again were ‘circulation of air’ and ‘sense of space’ – an acknowledgement from designers perhaps of the need to make Passivhaus builds aspirational not just in terms of low energy costs but also in terms of lifestyle.

There were more than 80 delegates at the 2016 Passivhaus Awards.

There were more than 80 delegates at the 2016 Passivhaus Awards.

As we saw from both the winners and the finalists in the Awards, it’s no longer about energy efficiency at all costs. The focus is shifting towards using air circulation solutions which ensure there are no cold spots in winter or hot spots in summer and about using glazing more effectively to increase a sense of space.

This was all music to my ears of course because REHAU’s products include the AWADUKT Thermo ground – air heat exchanger to provide ventilation and the Passivhaus certified fully recyclable GENEO window system.

This debate and discussion will no doubt continue at the Passivhaus Conference and Expo taking place at the Business Design Centre in London on October 25. In line with REHAU’s commitment to the market, we will be a Gold Member sponsor of that event as well and will be showcasing our range of Passivhaus products on our exhibition stand.

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