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Eco renovation: Should you aim for Passivhaus?

Most homeowners are keen to achieve lower running costs and reduce carbon emissions – but how far should you go? Nigel Griffiths looks at the merits of this eco standard for renovators
George and Rosie Woods spent £310,000 renovating and extending their semi-detached Victorian home – packing the walls and floors with Kingspan rigid boards, among other insulation and air tightness improvements. MVHR was installed to keep fresh air flowing around the house
Fitting eco upgrades into an existing house isn’t always straightforward. On his overhaul of a Victorian terraced house, owner Andrew Overin only realised how much floor-to-ceiling height would be lost in the loft space once it was insulated at rafter level, which led to a change in the layout of the bedroom and ensuite

Whether you’re building a new home from scratch or taking on a major refurb, one of your key motivations will probably be to minimise the amount of money you need to pay out on energy bills. One of the leading standards for sustainable homes is Passivhaus; a German model that’s designed to encourage better energy efficiency, specifically in new build houses. It works really well for this purpose, adopting a fabric first approach to design and construction that creates a highly insulated and airtight structural shell, reducing the need for bolt-on technology.

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October 2018
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About Build It

Inside the October edition of Build It magazine: - Smart Homes special: How tech can simplify your lifestyle - Beginner's guide to winning planning permission - Extension costs guide - Passivhaus: Does it make sense for eco renovations? - How to knock through walls & open up space - Building contracts explained - Underloor heating innovations ... and more!