15 Feb 2007

Images from the Passive House Study Tour

First stop on our tour was this owner-architect built passive house in Ottbergen. The house was built in 1998 and is on three floors, each just over 100m2.

Carsten Grobe, the owner-architect, gave us a guided tour and spoke at length about construction and the mechanicals which are used to provide heating.

John Letton, MD of Formworks UK, pictured here in the living room of the Ottbergen house. Behind him are the triple-glazed window units complete with integrated blinds.

Our second stop was this block of Passiv Flats in Hanover, designed by architect Christian Grubert who was on hand to show us around.

The flat we looked at had a surprisingly large radiator in the living room which was definetly hot. In fact this flat has radiators in all the rooms.

Our group seemed to spend an inordinate amount of time in basements and cellars, looking at various bits of plant. Here under the Hohe Strasse flats, the architect explains how the building is heated and ventilated. The main point of interest here was a pellet boiler.

Our last port of call was a series of terrace houses at Kronsberg, a new development to the south of Hanover on the EXPO site. These 32 terraced houses are all built to the PassivHaus standard and have been extensively monitored. Note that each flat has a turf roof. The two projecting poles through the roof are the inlet and outlet for the ventilation system.

These particular houses are hybrid timber frame and masonry. The gable walls and party walls are precast concrete: the walls between are timber frame. Here is a cut away of the timber frame walls exhibiting 300mm of insulation.

These terraces have no basement, unusual for new housing in Germany. The plant room is consequently in the loft, pictured here. Here John Willoughby and Gavin Hodgson (BRE) inspect the loft with our guide. The whole site is fed by a CHP plant which supplies pumped hot water into all homes. This is one of the pipes in the LH wall. To the right of the hot water tank is a post heater, wrapped up in silver foil.

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