Two years on, and we’re right in the middle of a record breaking heatwave. Tarmac on the roads is bubbling, trains are cancelled and people & animals are seeking refuge where they can. We feel very lucky that our home can provide that refuge. Over the last few days, when outside temperatures peaked at 29C, the house remained comfortably below 23.5C. It’s difficult to describe the feeling of walking in from the sweltering heat, but it’s just lovely. So how is this achieved? Most of the windows are externally shaded, so solar gains are really minimal. We’re keeping on top of night time purging and shutting the windows when the ouside temperatures rise above the internal. I appreciate the night time purge strategy only works when outside temperatures get sufficienly cool – it may well be that in future we won’t be able to rely on this and some form of active cooling may be needed – but hopefully not for some time. The consolation is that energy demand for active cooling would also be very minimal (similar to the very low heating demand in winter).
We opened the house up at the end of June as part of International Passivhaus Open Days and were delighted to welcome around 20 visitors, who were keen to learn about low energy building and experience the summer comfort. The weather ‘played ball’, it was a hot sunny day outside but the house stayed nice & comfy inside despite the extra 20 bodies 🙂
In other news, I finally picked up courage and converted the shipping container left over from the house build into a workshop. Insulated on the outside and clad with locally sourced larch, it should hopefully blend in well with the landscape, especially once the wildflower meadow grows on the flat roof.
I have become more involved with Ecococon straw panel system as their UK technical support. If you have a project and are thinking of using Ecococon or have any questions, ping me.
Finally, look out for the dates for Passivhaus Open Days in November – we’re likely to open the doors again.