An eco-first for Scotland
EnerPHit: ‘A sophisticated and reliable way of building in an ecological, sustainable and eco-friendly method.’
August 2018 saw a first for Scotland when a once draughty, traditional barn was certified as one of the country’s most energy-efficient homes. Thomas Robinson Architects had the very first EnerPHit certified building in Scotland signed off. EnerPHit is for existing properties what the Passivhaus standard of energy-efficient building is for newbuilds. construction, showing every stage. ‘This degree of rigour is not something that the construction industry in Scotland is used to. It requires the contractor to fully embrace it and everyone on site to understand what is at stake,’ said Tom.
EnerPHit is used for retrofit or renovated houses, where the presence of older materials, a crumbling barn wall, for example, means that different methods are used to create extreme energy efficiency. There are approximately 1,000 certified Passivhaus buildings in the UK. Of these around 56 are EnerPHit projects, but this is Scotland’s first. Thomas Robinson and his team have created an exceptionally eco-friendly home from what was an old barn. EnerPHit adheres to the Passivhaus aim to reduce carbon emissions, improve energy efficiency and ultimately achieve greater energy security, while creating an exceptionally pleasant environment. This is done via a variety of methods. Tom said: ‘Achieving compliance for this building was not straight forward and many of the obvious measures that could have been done such as making the south facing openings larger were not available to us. However, we’ve done it and we and the client are exceptionally pleased with the result. ‘We overcame challenges including getting planning consent for a large glazed opening to optimize a magnificent view where in theory no glazing could be allowed. Achieving the EnerPHit standard in the Passivhaus method in the computer energy model involved careful balancing of glazed areas, high quality components and construction detailing to eliminate cold bridges.’ Mike Roe of Warm Low Energy Building Practice certified the project designed by architect Tom Robinson, and built-in central Scotland, issuing a unique ID number along with a plaque. To get a Passivhaus building certified requires that an independent Passivhaus Certifier like Mike to check the Passivhaus Planning Package software calculations carried out by the designer. Also, delivery note evidence must be submitted for all relevant products used such as windows, doors, insulation, air tightness seals membranes and tapes. Documentation of air tightness tests and mechanical ventilation and heat recovery systems used must be submitted for checking, together with photographic evidence of the