A-Z The Passivhaus Standard Passivhaus is an international energy performance standard with buildings constructed to the Passivhaus standard reaching 30, In a Passivhaus thermal comfort is achieved through use of passive measures listed below which can be applied not only to the residential sector but also to commercial, industrial and public buildings. Good levels of insulation with minimal thermal bridges Excellent level of airtightness Good indoor air quality Passive solar gains and internal heat sources A common misconception is that Passivhaus only applies to cold weather climates when it actually works equally we in warm and hot climates. High levels of airtightness and insulation work equally well in protecting buildings from overheating provided there is adequate solar shading. Whilst it is possible to achieve the new build Passivhaus standard in the refurbishment it is often difficult to achieve without undertaking major works. The EnerPHit standard has been developed as a refurbishment guide for Passivhaus renovations and refurbishments.

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The design team were aware of DfD principles and incorporated it from the start. Along with Passivhaus design requirements, the installation of wall and roof panels considered optimum fixing details for effective deconstruction.

No specific drawings were made for deconstruction. There is a visual record of documentation provided for Passivhaus certification which shows all the junctions and the details of how the components are fixed together.

It is likely that portland cement has been used between the bricks and as such would make it difficult to remove the bricks intact. The tongue and groove timber floors are glued, they would have to be cut out in sections. The plasterboard on the underside of the ceiling, screwed to the timber truss can be demounted easily. For the roof, the roof cassette is screwed to the ridge, making it easier to recover the whole section intact. The vapour barrier is stapled to the panelvent board, and it is possible to remove it.

The glulam ridge beam can be removed, once the triangular section of the gable end is exposed. The cladding is attached using an external rack board and is either sprayed on render, making it difficult to remove or timber cladding hung by nails, making it easier to remove Figure 4. Figure 5: Details of the roof ridge junction credit White Hill Design Studio For the internal walls, the plasterboard is accessible as are the non-load bearing stud walls.

In terms of the foundations and ground floor, it would be difficult to access these without damage to surrounding materials. This allows good level of access to service the system. It is unclear how the duct work is linked between the two floors. If the duct work runs through the floor, between the floor trusses, the floor boards would have to be removed to access it. The brick and block sub structure can be recycled as aggregate The concrete slab can be recycled as long at the steel can be segregated from the concrete; alternatively it could be reused in-situ The PIR insulation used in the ground floor and the air tight vapour barrier, cannot currently be recycled, energy from waste is currently the best option.

The timber battens and timber joists are also recyclable. The remainder of the materials i. The panel vent maybe recyclable this is made from wood waste. The glulam ridge beam is reusable The windows could be reused. For the ground floor and foundations, these can also be dismantled using non-specialised equipment once the external and internal walls have been removed.

Specialised equipment would be required for the external walls SIP panels and the roof cassettes, due to their size and the items glued together within the panel. Other equipment will be needed for the removal of insulation, nails and screws. Similarly, it could be manually harder to separate the metal bars from the OSB and remove screws and nails out of the panel.

Manual deconstruction of the pods and cassettes on site may not be cost-effective, due to the labour cost, value of the recovered material and time involved in deconstruction. The scrap value for the metal may be too small to make it worthwhile to accommodate specialist shredding costs of SIP panels and transport cost to specialist facilities to recycle. Figure 6 shows the overall score by element. Elements which had greater potential for DfD are the windows and doors, internal walls, sanitary ware and floors.

Where the connections are screwed based i. Most of the elements of the house could be dismantled using non-specialised equipment apart from the SIPs panels. The following issues are summarised: Though the SIPs panels may present issues for recycling due to separating their constituent parts, their speed of erection can be up to times faster than other construction types and these needs to be considered within the context of a project and its whole life value.

A number of materials used are currently hard to recycle such as the mineral wool, OSB, fibre cement slates and PUR insulation; alternative products which may be easier to recycle, could be considered. Attention should be given to the type of cement used between the bricks and to ensure that the bricks could be removed intact for future reuse.

Nailing tongue and groove flooring is preferable than using glue as it will be able to removed for reuse.


Certified Passivhaus Designer Training (BRE)



Certified European Passive House Designer


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