Richardson House

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This house is the third certified Passive House completed by Paul McAlister Architects and is styled in a traditional barn-like aesthetic typical of the Ulster rural countryside dwelling.The site has been divided by the placement of the house so that the two-storey element forms a boundary to the approach road and creates a south facing private garden making the most of the sunlight and privacy. The primary living space within the house is the kitchen dining and living room area which has a high vaulted ceiling. This space is flooded with light from large windows looking out unto the garden. Also, high level electrically operated roof-lights in the sloping ceiling creates a bright and airy feel to this most used of family spaces.The house is highly sustainable using the ultra-energy-efficient Passive House (Passivhaus classic) standard of construction. It also has a 4kW Photo Voltaic array on the rear of the garage roof producing electricity.
Images Graphs Figures Description Strategies Building

Richardson House : 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 - - -
Natural gas use- - -
Oil use- - -
LPG use- - -
Wood use- - -
Other Fuel - - -
Primary energy requirement - - -
Annual CO₂ emissions - - -
Annual space heat demand - - 15 kWh/m².yr

Renewable energy

Electricity generationForecastMeasured
Renewables Technology--
Other Renewables Tech--
Electricity consumed by generation --
Primary energy requirement
offset by renewable generation
Annual CO₂ emissions
offset by renewable generation

Calculation and targets

Whole house energy calculation method PHPP
Other whole house calculation method-
Energy target PassivHaus
Other energy targets-
Forecast heating load -


Pre-development air permeability test--
Final air permeability test04 December 20180.38m³/m².hr @ 50 Pascals

Project description

Start date29 May 2017
Occupation date05 February 2019
Location Portadown County Armagh  Northern Ireland
Build typeNew build
Building sectorPrivate Residential
Property typeDetached
Construction typeMasonry Cavity
Other construction type
Party wall construction
Floor area 203.6
Floor area calculation method Treated Floor Area (PHPP)
Building certification  Passivhaus certified building Passivhaus certified building

Project Team

OrganisationPaul McAlister Architects Ltd
Project lead personPaul McAlister Architects Ltd
Landlord or ClientPrivate Client
ArchitectPaul McAlister Architects Ltd
Mechanical & electrical consultant Paul McAlister Architects Ltd
Energy consultantPaul McAlister Architects Ltd
Structural engineerGeorge Dawson Ltd
Quantity surveyorNA
ConsultantEarth Cycle Technologies
ContractorCairns Builders

Design strategies

Planned occupancyFive people, all out to work or school on weekdays.
Space heating strategyHeating from wood burning stove; Heat recovered from ventilation exhaust.
Water heating strategyAir source heat pump to provide hot water
Fuel strategyMains electricity.
Renewable energy strategy4 kWp photovoltaic panel installed .
Passive Solar strategyWindow proportions optimised using PHPP.
Space cooling strategyNA
Daylighting strategyNA
Ventilation strategyComfort ventilation with heat recovery (winter) Openable windows (summer)
Airtightness strategy Airtight membrane over roof structure sealed to outside face of external masonry wall. Masonry wall plastered to provide continuous air barrier with membrane.
Strategy for minimising thermal bridges Thermal bridging analysis undertaken for all primary junctions interfaces Junctions assessed include: Ground floor junction, external corner, party wall, party roof, party floor, eaves, verge, window jamb, head and sill, door jamb, head and threshold.
Modelling strategyWhole house modelling was undertaken in PHPP and dynamic simulation was used to assess the impact of our proposed solar-combi heating system with the results fed back into PHPP.
Insulation strategyNA
Other relevant retrofit strategiesNA
Contextual informationNA

Building services

Space heatingNo central heating, 2no. wood burning stoves
Hot waterHeat pump centerally located in plant room
VentilationMechanical Ventilation Heat recovery
ControlsRoom thermostat, set points for MVHR
CookingElectric hob (induction preferred) and oven
Lighting100% LED Fittings
AppliancesA+ Rated fridge, freezer and washing machine to each unit
Renewable energy generation systemSolar PV Installed
Strategy for minimising thermal bridgesPsi values have been calculated for internal and external values. External psi-value have been entered into PHPP.

Building construction

Storeys 2
Volume 509
Thermal fabric area -
Roof description Warm Roof Construction
Roof U-value 0.10 W/m² K
Walls description Cavity Walls
Walls U-value 0.12 W/m² K
Party walls description NA
Party walls U-value 0.00 W/m² K
Floor description Suspended Pre cast concrete slab, insulation and sand/cement screed
Floor U-value 0.09 W/m² K
Glazed doors description Triple Glazed PVC
Glazed doors U-value 0.74 W/m² K installed
Opaque doors description NA
Opaque doors U-value - -
Windows description Triple Glazed PVC
Windows U-value 0.74 W/m² K -
Windows energy transmittance (G-value) -
Windows light transmittance -
Rooflights description Quadruple Glazed PVC
Rooflights light transmittance -
Rooflights U-value 0.58 W/m² K

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