Passive House certified homes to rise at former Newbattle High
November 19 2021
Midlothian Council will deliver 134 affordable homes, including 98 designed to Passive House standards, at the former Newbattle High School in Dalkeith.
Detailed plans by Smith Scott Mullan Associates for the 4.7-hectare site show a range of accommodation for a mix of tenures that will reduce energy demand and address fuel poverty while aiding the authority's ambition to become carbon net-zero by 2030.
Delivering a mix of apartments and houses the development offers shared and public open spaces and a biodiverse SUDS pond with wildflower turf and native wetland planting. Cycling and pedestrian links will also plug into the wider green network around Newbattle Abbey.
The site will be developed in two phases beginning with the erection of 98 Passive House homes for social rent by Midlothian Council next year, to be followed by a further 36 affordable homes on behalf of a registered social landlord.
The project design team includes Hardies, Bayne Stevenson Associates, Aecom and Hawthorne Boyle.
Would that be the Passive house spec that needs mechanical ventilation to stay habitable?
Interesting concept but I think it needs a bit more work to make it fully "passive" and fully usable in these post CoViD19 times.
Air leakage has its uses -- we have to breathe after all -- just a case that it needs to be managed.
There is extensive research and testing published by Glasgow School of Art MEARU Unit, Passivhaus Trust, BERE Architects and many others on this subject. We have also tested Passivhaus and non-passivhaus projects with a variety of ventilation systems and in line with the research above, found that the air quality is superior in passivhaus homes than naturally / DMEV ventilated buildings.
Also, good work Smith Scott Mullen!
I'd love to read more about that research - any tips on where to look? Thanks.
Then you have the point of an Art School doing research into building technology -- some mistake surely?
Are architects stylists / designers / technically competent?
The language they use to describe their creations would suggest that most are stylists and consequently should leave the difficult stuff to others with a more complete engagement with engineering.
These people are not to be found in an art school.
For a firm that appear to be hoovering up a lot (all) of midlothian council work, you would think they might try harder.
MEARU research work - https://www.gsa.ac.uk/research/research-units/mearu/projects/ -
MEARU / JGA research work on indoor air quality of homes along with other associated published research - http://www.johngilbert.co.uk/?page_id=20
Passivhaus trust - The case for MVHR - https://www.passivhaustrust.org.uk/UserFiles/File/research%20papers/MVHR/2020.04.27-The%20Case%20for%20MVHR-v7.pdf
Bere Architects Research - https://www.bere.co.uk/research/
Scottish Building Stds research including ventilation / airtightness studies - https://www.gov.scot/policies/building-standards/monitoring-improving-building-regulations/
HEMAC network of practitioners and academics looking at the effects of airtight housing - https://hemacnetwork.com/
I hope that provides interesting reading.
The is so much evidence out there (thousands of precedents, residents experience, science, 25 years of use of the system etc.), that discussing it is a bit like questioning whether 2+2 is 4.
Passive hoose / haus -- aye right.
The need for mechanical ventilation rather spoils the vibe.
Plus it needs energy and servicing effort to keep it working -- file under needing a bit of development.
Some chimney thinking needed -- pun intended.
1930's social housing struggles to cope with modern levels of car ownership -- parking on the street can be a struggle and in all to many cases driveways are difficult to install.
Today's affordable housing has to take car use / access / ownership into account or are we just condemning today's children to follow a similar path to their parents?
Personal transportation is an aspiration to those who don't have it through a lack of resources -- it might not suit a certain tree hugging mindset but the desire is there.
Plus the future is electric so the pollution argument is now dying a slow death.
And please don't mention brake dust or tyre fragments -- if tyres have to go then so does shoes and bikes plus humans who shed skin at an alarming rate.
I fear you cannot see the wood from the trees.
To be liveable / live up to its name -- a "passiv" hoose / haus needs an active ventilation system to be in operation.
Either the house needs external power to drive the active ventilation / heat recovery system or it needs an external source to heat the house. Neither of these scenarios deliver the passive outcome that is being desired.
Plus you have the ventilation angle of a house needing to meet a very challenging level of air leakage -- another reason for the active ventilation system.
What happens if there is a power cut -- you would have to open a window.
What happens if you have to open a window in the winter -- you will need some form of heating.
The concept needs work -- it is only 80% complete.
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Maybe a bit simpler would be better.