Channel Islands gets its first passive house
A passive house new build has commenced in Guernsey and, when certified, it will be the first project in the Channel Islands built to the standard. Located on the west coast of the island, Le Catillion is a single-storey dwelling being constructed for an architect and his wife as their low energy holiday home.
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The clients worked closely with Accredited Passivhaus Design to achieve their designed level of design and performance, with Warm Low Energy Building Practice appointed as the passive house certifier.
Keen to harness local expertise wherever possible, Guernsey-based contractor RG Falla Ltd was appointed by tender, and locally sourced materials are being used throughout, including a granite outer skin.
The specialist mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (MVHR) project contractor is Built Environment Technology Ltd, who were appointed after a recommendation from Accredited Passivhaus Design, having previously collaborated on passive house projects on the mainland. Although a Kent-based company, Built Environment has clients from northern Scotland to the south of France and is experienced in managing projects from a distance.
The Zehnder ComfoAir Q350 MVHR Unit was specified, complete with a LAN C Gateway and full app control, with ductwork supplied by Lindab comprising galvanised spiral around the unit, with InDomo Ø90 radial ducts to receiving rooms. Intake and exhaust ducts are insulated with 50 mm Armaflex, with the short, exposed ducts and cowls above roof level in stainless steel – an essential anti-corrosion measure due to the very close proximity to the ocean.
When asked about the challenges of meeting the stringent requirements of the passive house from such a distance, senior projects manager at Built Environment, Richard Porteous, said: “It’s always a pleasure to work with the passive house community, where performance is key and detail is critical.
"Both the designer and the client at Le Catillion have set very high standards and the planning and preparation process has been meticulous. As a result, every last detail had been agreed before attending site and we are fortunate to have an excellent projects team and extremely capable site personnel. First fix ductwork is now complete, and we look forward to completion and commissioning."