Beyond Passive House – A Holistic Approach
In our view the best buildings not only minimise energy-in-use but do so in a way that have minimum impact on the Environment (i.e. have low-embodied carbon). Climate change is real and we all must take responsibility for what we can: specifying insulants that are recycled or waste products (like cellulose insulation) can greatly reduce the global warming potential (GWP) of an insulating component of a building. Sadly this is still a minority view in an Industry where reductions in energy-in-use are increasingly focused on to exclusion of all else.
Water conservation is also of great importance as we live in a very wasteful society in this regard. Increasingly we have been asked to integrate interesting rainwater and grey water harvesting projects into our buildings.
The Passive House Standard as an excellent tool for design. We desire to strive beyond this, to give a cradle-to-grave approach to design, from material choice, waste management, fossil fuel consumption and importantly, building and occupant health. Here at Joseph Little architects, we endeavour to fulfil these ambitions with clients who share our interest and passion in a holistic building and living approach.
Of course the terms ‘energy plus’ and ‘energy positive’ design are only applicable when one has taken every possible step to conserve energy in the first place.
For more information please see our blog and BUILDING LIFE CONSULTANCY links
The 16th Passive house Conference is in Hannover in Germany in 2012. Hope to see you there!