Monday 16 July 2012

Environmental Performance Monitoring at Rowan House Passivhaus Building

We have finished installing all of the sensors and monitoring equipment at Rowan House and finished the air permeability testing and MVHR balance checks.   Monitoring is now underway.  We will be looking forward to receiving some objective data to see how these flats are performing.  As with Knights Place (see Knights Place blog below) the aim of this study is to monitor the following:

  • Air quality over 2 winters and 2 summers via CO2 sensors in the bedroom and living room
  • Air temperature and humidity monitoring over the 2 year period
  • Energy consumption of all the electrical sub circuits - cooking, ventilation, small power, lights etc
  • Solar hot water panel energy monitoring
  • Air permeability re-tests in the first year and second year after handover
  • Mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (MVHR) monitoring - testing air volumes over time, power efficiency of the unit in use, heat recovery efficiency during use
  • Infrared surveys and fabric dynamic heat flux tests
  • Occupant surveys and BUS questionnaires
  • EMF Studies to test the low EMF design
  • Daylight Studies

As results come in we will post them on our blog - keep an eye out, it should be interesting.

Getting prepared to fix pyranometer
Pyranometer fixed to roof
Wiring of Solar Monitor
Solar energy and flow monitor
MVHR air duct logger
Logger installed in air duct

MVHR air balance check
Tom smoke testing the air tightness
Tenants Smart metering


  1. The first thing I notice is that I have to spend a lot of money to buy the equipment to give me the capability. This equipment is going to be produced the same carbon requiring way that everything else is so my first impact is to increase my carbon footprint, relative to the issue of providing electricity to my home.

  2. Hi Maria, thanks for your comment. Yes there is some expense associated with the monitoring and equipment. This research project has a much wider context than the sole individual saving carbon and fuel costs. The study is being funded by the governments Technology Strategy Board and is studying social housing Passivhaus apartments and is part of ongoing research to learn about what works well in low energy building design and anything that does not. The results will then be fed back into the industry to help educate and improve the design of low energy buildings. Thus the capital spend on this will influence the design and refurbishment of many low energy buildings to come.

  3. Very informative blog.
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  4. Many thanks for sharing your opinion here. I really like it.

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