Associates speak at UK Passivhaus Conference Thursday, 27 October, 2016

Hamson Barron Smith joined a strong line-up of speakers this week at the UK Passvihaus Conference 2016.

Delivering Passivhaus at Scale was the theme of this year’s programme – providing the perfect opportunity for Associate Architect Andrew Conway to present a case study on the large scale projects Hamson Barron Smith is currently delivering in Norwich.

Later in the day, Development Associate Director Ben Binns also explored the business case for Passivhaus.

The conference, held in London, began with Jessica Grove-Smith from the Passivhaus Institute reflecting on the last 25 years of Passivhaus, as well as reporting on how some of the earliest schemes are continuing to perform well.

Looking to the future, throughout the day a number of exhibitors also introduced some of their latest technology, including the Zehnder ComfoAir Q which maximises heat transfer through its innovative diamond shaped heat exchanger.

For Andrew, there was plenty of knowledge to take away. “It was valuable to hear from Tom Kirkham & Matt Warren from Lend Lease who talked us through a contractors view of Passivhaus following the lessons learned at their impressive Elephant Park scheme in London,” he said.

“The challenge of efficient sequencing on site and the importance of sub-contractor management or ‘policing’ were insightful and vital components of understanding the Passivhaus process through construction.”

Emma Osmundsen from Exeter City Council also gave delegates a fascinating insight into the journey the majority has taken to deliver a number of ground-breaking schemes, most notably the Passivhaus leisure centre, Exeter Active.

The concluding panel debate covered procurement – particularly traditional versus design and build. Whilst there was caution from the floor in keeping design control, it was acknowledged that design and build was a good way to get contractor involvement at an earlier stage – albeit with an improved emphasis on training and collaboration. Increases in open market sales and how devolution could open up opportunities more Passvihaus opportunities were explored, as well as calls made for surveyors to carefully review the valuations of Passivhaus developments.