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#287558 - 2019-09-07 12:56 Passivhaus
Registered: 2003-10-04
Posts: 2,386
spinaltap Offline
Senior Shouting Officer
spinaltap Offline
Senior Shouting Officer

Registered: 2003-10-04
Posts: 2,386
Loc: Bournville, UK
The opportunity has presented itself for me to buy a brand-new certified 'Passivhaus'.

Does anyone on here own such a Passivhaus, and if so, what is their experience?


My Mac can go all the way to XI - Mac user since 1988 - Meridian owner since 1993.

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#287567 - 2019-09-07 18:48 Re: Passivhaus [Re: spinaltap]
Registered: 2009-11-29
Posts: 1,172
Shaun Offline
Pan-dimensional being
Shaun Offline
Pan-dimensional being

Registered: 2009-11-29
Posts: 1,172
Loc: Isle of Man
I don't sadly, but enjoy! I work in construction and I'm appalled at most new houses. bash bash bash ...

Please let us know how you get on.

Cheers Shaun


M owner since 207 CD player
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#287570 - 2019-09-07 21:08 Re: Passivhaus [Re: Shaun]
Registered: 2003-10-04
Posts: 2,386
spinaltap Offline
Senior Shouting Officer
spinaltap Offline
Senior Shouting Officer

Registered: 2003-10-04
Posts: 2,386
Loc: Bournville, UK
It was constructed by ‘Beattie Passivehouse’ - and I’m negotiating with their client. Not a done deal at all, but I’m weighing my options.


My Mac can go all the way to XI - Mac user since 1988 - Meridian owner since 1993.

Music: M6, 218, 210, 504, 506.2, AC12, Mac Mini Server, Roon | B&O H8
Movies: Loewe Bild7.55, ATV4K, B&W PV-1
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#288042 - 2019-09-26 13:10 Re: Passivhaus [Re: spinaltap]
Registered: 2003-10-04
Posts: 2,386
spinaltap Offline
Senior Shouting Officer
spinaltap Offline
Senior Shouting Officer

Registered: 2003-10-04
Posts: 2,386
Loc: Bournville, UK
First-world problems: it’s a difficult decision in choosing between buying...

A 120sq metre, 3 bedroom, ‘Passivhaus’. It has a flat roof. No solar panels, with no possibility of adding them. It has a ‘Brink’ Mechanical Ventilation and Heat Recovery (MVHR) system, but just 2 heating radiators for the whole house: 1 on each floor. The Boiler is by ‘Ideal’. It doesn’t have a garage, and is supplied with no-name/cheap (Caple) kitchen appliances, or,

A 112 sq metre, 4 bedroom, ‘Zero Carbon’ house, constructed by Crest Nicholson. The development is marketed as an ‘Eco Village’. It doesn’t have MVHR, but does have a centralised Vent Axia MEV (Mechanical Extract Ventilation) in all the ‘wet’ rooms. It does have a full compliment of conventional radiators throughout the house. However, I’m unfamiliar with heating and hot water being supplied by a neighbourhood Combined Heat & Power (CHP) facility. Instead of a conventional Gas Boiler, it has a Heat Interface Unit (HIU). It has a conventional apex roof, integrated Solar PV panels, rain water harvesting. The Kitchen has all Bosch integrated appliances. It has a good sized garage, with Sedum covered roof.

Both are timber framed. Both are supplied with carpeting/flooring. Both have an EPC of ‘A’.


My Mac can go all the way to XI - Mac user since 1988 - Meridian owner since 1993.

Music: M6, 218, 210, 504, 506.2, AC12, Mac Mini Server, Roon | B&O H8
Movies: Loewe Bild7.55, ATV4K, B&W PV-1
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#288044 - 2019-09-26 13:59 Re: Passivhaus [Re: spinaltap]
Registered: 2004-04-15
Posts: 12,640
VirusKiller Offline
Don't Panic
VirusKiller Offline
Don't Panic

Registered: 2004-04-15
Posts: 12,640
Loc: nr. Milton Keynes, UK
I don't know that much, but from what I do know:

a) I wouldn't go anywhere near the Crest Nicholson. Modern houses by the majors are IMO problems waiting to happen.
b) I would absolutely want MVHR. The house needs to breathe. Properly.


Roon Developer and ex-moderator of this Forum
I am #25 in the HH1 photo of fame.
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#288053 - 2019-09-26 22:52 Re: Passivhaus [Re: VirusKiller]
Registered: 2005-02-17
Posts: 123
NickC Offline
Hitchhiker
NickC Offline
Hitchhiker

Registered: 2005-02-17
Posts: 123
Loc: W. Sussex, UK
I am building a near passivhaus. Any reasonably thermally efficient house needs to have good air tightness, therefore requires MVHR. No MVHR = poor air tightness. Ask what the modelled energy use is of the 4 bed, a passivhaus has to be < 13kwh per m2 pa, with an air change per hour of 0.6 iirc.
Ours will be 175m2 & have 3 beds, it will not feel huge. 112m2 for a 4 bed house feels very tight.
A certified passivhaus has to pass stringent design and build criteria. Unless there are very good reasons for going for the 4 bed option it is s no-brainier, IMHO.
If needs be sell the kitchen & put in one of your choice.


568.2mm, DSP33x2, DSP5000c, m60x2, D1500x2, modded edge, Airport Express, F80.
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#288055 - 2019-09-27 05:52 Re: Passivhaus [Re: spinaltap]
Registered: 2011-08-22
Posts: 1,647
Not'arf Offline
Working on the ultimate question
Not'arf Offline
Working on the ultimate question

Registered: 2011-08-22
Posts: 1,647
Loc: French Pyrenees
I know nothing about this type of house so my comments can be taken with the appropriate dose of salt, but based on my experiences of life....

Neither seem to be 'perfect' and both have significant shortcomings, at least based on my understanding of conventional houses.

With House 1, one radiator per floor? It's presumably 'enough' but it might lead to cold spots which can lead to damp. Perhaps it genuinely is enough but then why does House 2 have a full compliment? No garage? That's a tough one too; with a flat roof you'll have no loft space, so where do you store all those bulky, rarely-used items like Xmas trees, suitcases, HiFi boxes etc etc? No solar panels would appear to be something of an oversight for that type of house too.

For House 2, I agree with NickC that 112m2 for a 4-bed is going to feel pretty small. How many bedrooms do you need? That would be my first decision. Our last place in the UK was your typical country cottage; only 100 sq m but for the 2 of us it was fine. It had 1 double & 2 single bedrooms so it was fine for our very occasional visitors. The upcoming place in France is 250 sq m with only 50 sq m given over to bedrooms which is the perfect proportion IMO. I just don't get most people's thing with having eg 5 bedrooms with 4 of them empty for 95% of the year. We stayed with friends in Chiswick (London) recently & their lovely 5 bed place actually only has 2 bedrooms; they each had an office and one had been turned into a dressing room. Perfect. If you have kids / parents living with you or very regular visitors then obviously extra bedrooms are a must. If not...You can always put visitors up in a hotel around the corner if it comes to it.



Work in progress

Meridian owner since 1998
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#288058 - 2019-09-27 07:43 Re: Passivhaus [Re: Not'arf]
Registered: 2003-10-04
Posts: 2,386
spinaltap Offline
Senior Shouting Officer
spinaltap Offline
Senior Shouting Officer

Registered: 2003-10-04
Posts: 2,386
Loc: Bournville, UK
My current 3 bedroom detached home for the past 32 years is 85 sq metres + garage. It’s size is more than adequate for me. What I have learned recently is that house configuration is often secondary to its overall footprint.

For the record, a ‘zero carbon’ house is not the same as a certified ‘Passivhaus’.


My Mac can go all the way to XI - Mac user since 1988 - Meridian owner since 1993.

Music: M6, 218, 210, 504, 506.2, AC12, Mac Mini Server, Roon | B&O H8
Movies: Loewe Bild7.55, ATV4K, B&W PV-1
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#288066 - 2019-09-27 15:16 Re: Passivhaus [Re: spinaltap]
Registered: 2003-06-12
Posts: 736
Caldham Offline
Paranoid android
Caldham Offline
Paranoid android

Registered: 2003-06-12
Posts: 736
Loc: London, UK
We just moved back into our new build (last week). Designed to be highly insulated, with MVHR (not yet working), triple glazing etc. but not quite to passive house standards.

Today they completed the air tightness test (late I know; it should have been done before we moved in). Result was OK but not as good as I had hoped for (mostly looks like eaves/roof needs more 'sealing'). We need to improve that before MVHR gets commissioned. If the passive house is fully certified it should be very well sealed.

MVHR was one of my main requirements (and is essential for passive house certification as a full passive house should be really air tight) for comfort and efficiency. You need fresh air and without mechanical ventilation it comes in through leaky windows, walls, letter box, etc. causing cold air draughts. The running costs are supposed to be low.

The theory behind passive houses is that they don't need any (much) heating (sometimes just a central wood burner) so 2 radiators may be enough but most of us are conditioned to expect/have more. The 'heat recovery' part of the MVHR will spread the heat from them throughout the house to some extent (the incoming fresh air is warmed by the outgoing hot/stale air). As we aren't fully passive we went with underfloor heating everywhere (for general heating) and a gas fire in the living room (for instant heat) - belt, braces, and safety pins smile.

Passive houses usually rely on solar heating and lots of glass on the south side which is good in winter but runs the risk of overheating in summer - so some form of shading (large overhangs and/or blinds - preferably external) is also essential.

Difficult decisions for sure. As has been said neither would seem perfect so the question comes down to which compromises you can live with; which can hard to judge when you don't have direct experience of the issues.

Good luck,

Chris


New House built - but system not yet commissioned

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#288089 - 2019-09-28 09:07 Re: Passivhaus [Re: Caldham]
Registered: 2003-10-04
Posts: 2,386
spinaltap Offline
Senior Shouting Officer
spinaltap Offline
Senior Shouting Officer

Registered: 2003-10-04
Posts: 2,386
Loc: Bournville, UK
I’ve learned that the zero carbon house has a centralised Vent Axia ‘Mechanical Extract Ventilation’ (MEC) system, located in the Loft. Think MVHR without the HR. Unlike an airtight Passivhaus, a zero carbon house relies on the conventional ‘breathing’ ability of the house via the walls, windows, vents.


My Mac can go all the way to XI - Mac user since 1988 - Meridian owner since 1993.

Music: M6, 218, 210, 504, 506.2, AC12, Mac Mini Server, Roon | B&O H8
Movies: Loewe Bild7.55, ATV4K, B&W PV-1
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