Talking Passive House Standards, nZEB and Thermal Bridging Solutions at Passive House Association’s Sligo Briefing

15th March 2017

The Passive House Association of Ireland (PHAI) held their first briefing of 2017 in IT Sligo recently, and as Patron Members of the Association, Quinn Building Products were invited to speak at the event on the topic of thermal bridging, and how to effectively combat thermal bridging issues to help achieve Passive House standards.

The evening was well attended by industry professionals and architecture students, and facilitated by IT Sligo’s Leo Murray (IT Sligo Contract Research Unit, Innovation Centre) and Peter Scanlon (IT Sligo Department of Civil Engineering & Construction).

The opening address came from Trevor McSharry, which he opened with a warm welcome. He went on to speak about the importance of industry engagement for IT Sligo and its students. He outlined a range of exciting new level 9 courses being delivered by IT Sligo which embrace the transformational changes occurring in the AEC industry, with the adoption of six sigma, lean and BIM process and methodologies.

Martin Murray of Martin Murray Architects & PHAI gave a very impressive overview of Passive House and the PHAI, its history, key principles and the positive impact it has had on the industry. Martin also spoke about near Zero Energy Building (nZEB) standards, citing examples of nZEB social housing in the UK which date back as far as 1981. A key point of his talk was the importance of nZEB for dealing with energy and fuel poverty.

Raymond O’Reilly of Quinn Building Products spoke next about thermal bridging and the impact of ignoring thermal bridging issues when detailing and constructing buildings. He explained the various types of thermal bridges and demonstrated their effects on a building’s BER rating. Raymond looked at how using Quinn Lite Aircrete Thermal blocks and their calculated y-value can help reduce overall building heat loss in DEAP by almost 40%. He went on to demonstrate the achievable monetary savings, highlighting a number of case study projects where the Quinn Technical Team were engaged to provide expert technical advice for thermal bridging reduction.

Martin Cooney, of Irish Energy Assessors Ltd. gave an impressive overview of a range of challenging case study projects completed by his company, demonstrating air tightness testing and all round good air tightness practices and installations. Martin spoke about his passion for air tightness, being introduced to same in Germany in 1981, and was accompanied by Phelim Munnelly of Siga Ireland who demonstrated the application of a range of air tightness products and services offered by Siga.

John Joe Mc Hugh of IT Sligo gave an overview of the college’s exciting & expansive Passive House module content, outlining the positive engagement with product manufacturing companies, the Irish Passive House Association, Ecological Building Systems, Finglas ETB, and Crest in Enniskillen. He displayed a range of their students’ air tightness and passive projects, including the construction of a range of 1:1 scale Passive House detail models. John Joe also demonstrated the importance of the College’s students’ progression into employment, and their efforts to achieve this.

Emmett Nee, Passive House Contractor spoke in detail about a passive house project his company completed. He demonstrated the challenges his company faced to ensure good quality detailing, elimination of thermal bridging, weather and air tightness during the build.

Peter Scanlon wrapped up the briefing, thanking all for attending, and then led attendees on a guided tour of IT Sligo’s Building Sustainability Workshop.

The next Passive House Association of Ireland briefing is scheduled to take place in the CREST Centre, South West College in Enniskillen on April 24th.