First social-housing PassivHaus flats
The first social-housing flats in the UK to be built to PassivHaus standards have their ventilation and minimal heating requirements met by units providing mechanical ventilation with heat recovery and inline electric duct heating. The three flats making up Rowan House in Sivell Street, Exeter, are based on PassivHaus design standards, so they do not require a conventional heating system. Instead, they incorporate Total Home Environment’s PassivHaus-certified Genvex GES NVHR unit.
Heating is required only when it is very cold outside and is provided by self-regulating inline electric duct heating controlled by an integrated control panel in the unit. The controller optimises comfort by automatically adjusting airflow and monitoring the desired temperature to within 0.1 K.
When required, the system automatically provides heat. It can also bypass the heat-recovery matrix to help cool flats during the Summer.
A built-in data logger provides over two years’ of temperature data (room, intake, exhaust, supply, extraction, fan speeds, Summer bypass, call for heat etc.) and was an important factor for Exeter City Council, which manages the flats.
A further 18 PassivHaus homes are to be built in Exeter, and the project is one of over 50 PassivHaus schemes underway in the UK.