Zyle Fenster is proud to have been chosen to supply and fit (with its partner TRC Contracts) Passivhaus Certificated windows and doors for The New Ark Passivhaus building at St Benedict’s. This independent Catholic school provides co-ed education from nursery through to sixth form. Currently, there are only a handful of schools in the UK built to this demanding Passivhaus standard. The New Ark will benefit both from excellent internal working conditions and the long-term economic and environmental advantages of an extremely low energy use building and we are delighted to have been part of this exciting and innovative project.
Needing a new three storey building for their Junior School and nursery, they appointed Van Heyningen and Haward (vHH) Architects and Jerram Falkus were chosen as their contractors.
vHH proposed a single, high performance, very low energy building, built to the very demanding Passivhaus standard. This sustainable method of construction results in airtight and super-insulated eco-friendly buildings. This maximises energy-efficiency and thereby significantly reduces ongoing utility bills. Air quality and temperature are maintained using heat recovery ventilation. As the fresh air from outside passes through the heat exchanger, this also improves the air quality inside for the pupils and staff. Inside and outside spaces are combined as large glass doors open out directly from the classrooms onto an outdoor learning and play area.
Zyle Fenster was chosen as we already produce a wide range of Passivhaus certified products both for new builds and retrofit restoration projects in our window, sliding door, entrance door, and curtain wall ranges. We also have a proven track record of working closely with architects to achieve the required thermal values for each product; looking specifically at the frame, glazing and the overall window installation values. For example, we supplied the windows for the Passivhaus restoration project at 11 Passmore Street, which was the first privately rented building in London to achieve the EnerPHit Passivhaus standard.
Zyle Fenster Products
Zyle Fenster supplied and fitted aluminium clad timber Passive Europa 92 windows. These Passivhaus certificated windows offer top quality insulation, with a profile of up to 92 mm, with triple glazing. With clean, stylish lines, these windows are ideal for both traditional properties and modern architecture and sit perfectly within the brick-clad design of The New Ark building. In addition to Passivhaus levels of water resistance and air tightness, our windows also meet the most severe European standards for acoustics, fire resistance, and even bullet resistance, where required. They are also available in different burglar resistance levels (class 2 & 3) producing an extremely secure solution.
We also supplied and fitted Reynaers Concept System 86 high insulating large entrance aluminium doors. With Passivhaus standards of thermal insulation, this robust flush door system has also passed heavy duty tests for high traffic applications and is therefore ideal for school buildings. We also supplied and fitted the Gutmann Lara GF timber aluminium mullion-transom curtain wall system that links the New Ark building to the other school building. This Passivhaus certified curtain wall system ensures highly effective thermal insulation whilst flooding both buildings with natural light.
Why Is Passivhaus Construction So Desirable?
Typically, old fashioned windows are not very efficient at insulating a property. Poor construction and incorrect installation can obviously lead to leaks and draughts. However, properly built and well-installed windows can also cause problems. Put your palm onto a pane of glass in a standard window and you will immediately notice how cold it is.
When the warm air from the heating system reaches the window, it cools down and, as hot air rises and cold air sinks, this creates draughts. Placing radiators under windows is an inefficient and expensive way of combating this problem as much of the heat will literally go straight out of the window. Additionally, when warm and humid air collides with cold surfaces, condensation occurs, releasing tiny droplets of water, which over time causes mould and other undesirable health hazards. Exposure to mould fragments or spores can lead to asthma and other respiratory problems.
To achieve certification, a Passivhaus window can only be 4.2 degrees cooler than the average surface temperature of the surrounding space. Additionally, the coldest point on the window frame must not have a “water activity” of greater than 80%. The warmer the window, the lower the relative humidity percentage will be. These internal surface temperatures are directly related to the U-value of the installed window.
A Passivhaus window not only eliminates draughts and condensation but it also improves the overall comfort of the occupier. People can sit next to large windows enjoying the natural light and the stunning views without having to wear additional clothing – even in the coldest of British winters. Passivhaus ventilation systems pipe fresh air throughout the living spaces and maintain humidity levels creating a healthy and comfortable atmosphere throughout the building.
As it costs significantly less money to heat and cool a Passivhaus, utility bills will be substantially lower and the overall impact on the environment will also reduce.