Camden Passivhaus

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Camden Passivhaus in Ranulf Road, designed by bere:architects and completed in April 2010, is Londons first Passivhaus. The project is a 118m2 single family house split over two floors. The primary objective of this project is to achieve a comfortable home for a young family, whilst minimising energy consumption. It contains two wild flower meadow roofs and a south facing garden enclosed by an ivy fence to increase local biodiversity. Healthy air and water quality is prioritised by using non-toxic materials; heat recovery ventilation and water filtration for drinking and bathing. Mains water use is supplemented by an underground water harvesting tank providing water for irrigation.
Images Graphs Figures Description Strategies Building

Camden Passivhaus : Project images

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CO2 emissionsPrimary energy requirement
Energy target

Energy and fuel use

Fuel use by type
Primary energy requirement
CO2 emissions

Measured data from renewable generation is not yet available.

Fuel use

Electricity use - 2323 kWh/yr -
Natural gas use- 2862 kWh/yr -
Oil use- - -
LPG use- - -
Wood use- - -
Other Fuel - - -
Primary energy requirement - 91 kWh/m².yr -
Annual CO₂ emissions - 20 kg CO₂/m².yr -
Annual space heat demand - 13.3 kWh/m².yr -

Renewable energy

Electricity generationForecastMeasured
Renewables Technology--
Other Renewables Tech--
Electricity consumed by generation --
Primary energy requirement
offset by renewable generation
91 kWh/m².yr -
Annual CO₂ emissions
offset by renewable generation
20 kg CO₂/m².yr -

Calculation and targets

Whole house energy calculation method PHPP
Other whole house calculation method-
Energy target
Other energy targets-
Forecast heating load 9 W/m² demand


Pre-development air permeability test--
Final air permeability test24 April 20100.4m³/m².hr @ 50 Pascals

Project description

Start date20 September 2009
Occupation date31 January 2011
Location London London  England
Build typeNew build
Building sectorPrivate Residential
Property typeDetached
Construction typeSoftwood frame
Other construction type
Party wall construction
Floor area 100
Floor area calculation method Treated Floor Area (PHPP)
Building certification  Passivhaus certified building Passivhaus certified building

Project Team

Project lead personbere:architects
Landlord or ClientMs Terry
Mechanical & electrical consultant bere:architects with Alan Clarke / The Green Buiding Store
Energy consultantbere:architects with Alan Clarke
Structural engineerRodrigues Associates
Quantity surveyor

Design strategies

Planned occupancy2-3 people
Space heating strategyAll heating is supplied through the ventilation system (with towel radiators in the bathrooms for additional comfort). The heat for the air is supplied by the solar water tank/ a small gas condensing boiler.
Water heating strategySolar hot water, (with gas condensing boiler top up).
Fuel strategyMains Gas
Renewable energy strategy3sqm of solar thermal collectors
Passive Solar strategyThe window proportions and the use of passive solar gains have been optimised using PHPP.
Space cooling strategyNatural cross and stack ventilation for summer cooling. External louvres with solar conotrol for summer shading.
Daylighting strategyThe living, kitchen and dining areas are located on the first floor to minimise the need for artifical lighting.
Ventilation strategyMechanical heat recovery ventilation (winter) Natural ventilation with extract only ventilation in the bathroom and WC (summer)
Airtightness strategy OSB with taped joints and an intello membrane
Strategy for minimising thermal bridges Thermal bridge-free construction throughout and all junctions have been modelled in Heat2 and the results fed into the PHPP.
Modelling strategyEvery junction of the building was optimised using a thermal modelling programme Heat2 and then fed back into the Passivhaus Planning Package.
Insulation strategyDespite being located in one of the milder areas of the UK, the house on Ranulf Road required high levels of insulation due to overshadowing from neighbouring buildings. The levels of insulation:400mm wood fibre insulation above the concrete slab, 280mm mineral wool +100mmwood fibre insulation in the external walls, 280mm PUR + 120mm mineral wool insulation in the flat roof and 380mm mineral wool insulation in the sloping roof.
Other relevant retrofit strategies
Contextual information

Building services

Occupancy2 people
Space heatingAll heating is supplied through the ventilation system (with towel radiators in the bathrooms for additional comfort). The heat for the air is supplied by the solar water tank/ a small gas condensing boiler.
Hot water3 square meters of solar thermal provide up to 50% of the domestic hot water, the rest is topped up with a gas condensing boiler.
VentilationThe Paul thermos 200 DC has been installed in Ranulf Road. The ventilation unit achieves a heat recovery efficiency of 90.1% whilst the electric efficiency is of 0.36 Wh/m3.
ControlsRoom thermostat in the living room, if the room temperature drops below 20 degrees, the 2 towel radiators will automatically switch on. The master bedroom has a boost switch for increased user comfort.
CookingElectric induction hob and oven.
LightingLow energy LED and fluorescent lighting through-out the building.
AppliancesEvery appliance was rigorously chosen and had to comply with the high levels of efficiency set in PHPP. Where possible the appliances are A++ rated.
Renewable energy generation systemA 3sqm solar thermal panel is installed on the main flat green roof.
Strategy for minimising thermal bridgesAll junction details are designed to prevent thermal bridges and the results form part of the Passivhaus Planning Package (PHPP) energy calculations.

Building construction

Storeys 2
Volume 256
Thermal fabric area 388
Roof description Ranulf Road has a flat roof with massive wood panels, 280mm PUR and 120mm mineral wool insulation and a wild flower meadow roof. The building has another wild flower meadow on the sloping roof at the rear of the property, with 380mm mineral wool insulation in a timber frame construction.
Roof U-value 0.11 W/m² K
Walls description The lower retaining external wall build-up (from the outside) is 200mm thick Caltite concrete, 240mm timber studs with mineral wool between the studs, a 15mm OSB board and the air tightness membrane and finally a 100mm service zone filled wood fibre insulation. The upper external wall build-up (from the outside) is Austrian larch cladding on battens, building paper and 15mm thick fermacell panels fixed to 280mm timber studs with mineral wool between the studs, a 15mm OSB board and air tightness membrane and again an insulated 100mm service zone.
Walls U-value 0.11 W/m² K
Party walls description
Party walls U-value -
Floor description Before the timber frame was installed the insitu concrete floor slab and retaining walls were cast. The timber frame ground floor build-up includes 2 x 140mm timber beams with wood fibre insulation between. The air tightness membrane is laid over these beams and a final 100mm deep service void is created with 100mm timber beams with wood fibre insulation between. The floor finish is 16mm engineered oak floor boards.
Floor U-value 0.10 W/m² K
Glazed doors description The entrance door is a triple glazed Passivhaus door.
Glazed doors U-value 0.81 W/m² K installed
Opaque doors description
Opaque doors U-value - -
Windows description The windows are high performing triple glazed windows from Germany with a warm edge spacer (psi 0.039W/mK).
Windows U-value 0.76 W/m² K -
Windows energy transmittance (G-value) 50 %
Windows light transmittance 71%
Rooflights description
Rooflights light transmittance -
Rooflights U-value -

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