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  • Seb Kouyoumjian

Cut Your Energy Bills by 90% - Let Us Build You a Passive House!

We are very proud to announce our Head of Architecture, Seb Kouyoumjian (already a chartered architect), qualified as a certified Passive House designer at the end of February. But what does that mean for our clients?

Passive House is a building standard about 90% more energy-efficient than current Building Regulations. As Building Regulations set only the minimum requirements for a building’s performance to comply with the law, a home built (or renovated) to Passive House standard means a huge reduction in energy bills compared to regular new-build housing.

So how does a Passive House achieve a 90% reduction in bills? By doing the following:

  • Increasing the amount of insulation wrapping the building – this is like wearing a nice thick coat

  • Making the house airtight – like having elasticated cuffs and a close-fitting collar on your thick coat. This doesn’t mean the house has to have its windows closed, it just means that when it’s cold outside, air and therefore heat don’t accidentally leak out of the joints where walls, roofs, doors and windows meet

  • Using triple glazing – we can’t think of a coat-based analogy, but this means no more condensation/mould on your windows, no more unwanted noise from outdoors. Triple glazing has a false reputation for being expensive, installed properly it can pay for itself and then start giving back within a few years

  • Filtering indoor air and reusing heat from ‘dirty’ air – think of a magic box which sucks in warm but stale/humid air from your home, and brings cold but fresh air from outside (filtering out pollen and pollution). The magic box (called an MVHR unit – short for 'mechanical heat recovery and ventilation') reuses the warmth from the stale air (which gets exhausted to outside) to heat the fresh air and supply it around your house.

The focus of Passive House is on using as little energy as possible, rather than other 'green' options like installing solar panels whilst continuing to squander the electricity they generate.

It costs around 8-15% more than average to build to this standard, but after several years it pays for itself. You can renovate any existing building (even listed ones) to either achieve this standard or at least see huge improvements – so it’s a no-brainer for anyone who wants a home they’ll want to live in long-term. And while it makes financial sense, you’ll also have a warmer, less wasteful, more pleasant house with natural light and no draughts or cold feet, and healthier lungs.

Passive House is not a ‘bolt-on’ – it needs to be part of your plan from the start as everything including the shape and number of windows has to be considered – so if you’re interested in a healthier and warmer home, and far lower energy bills, please get in touch and ask to speak to Seb.


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