Monthly Archives: August 2012

Certified passive house in Ireland proves its worth

12 months’ worth of performance data of a certified passive house in Ireland prove that the building by far lives up to the calculations that earned it the coveted certification.

In the southern Ireland, more specifically in Killarney, Co. Kerry, sits a house that is one of few to be certified as passive house in the country due to its extremely high energy efficiency. In fact, it is the most westerly certified passive house in Europe.

The certification is granted by the internationally recognised Passivhaus Institut (PHI) in Germany, the organisation behind this low-energy building standard, and is based on calculations predicting the expected performance of the house. Now, 12 months after the residents moved in, theory meets practice as performance data of the house allow for a comparison between the two.

Excellent results exceed expectations

The data leave Maurice Falvey of Nilan Ireland very satisfied with the performance of the house and especially Nilan’s products that constitute its heart and lungs:

– One year of data logging is completed with nearly 15 million measurement points taken, and, as it stands, the data have shown excellent results.

The house is fitted with Nilan’s all-in-one unit, Compact P, which is certified as passive house component by PHI, with an integrated ground source heat pump as auxiliary heating source, and the air distribution system NilAIR handling the actual air exchange.

Compact P combines ventilation with heat recovery, space heating, comfort cooling, comfort heating and sanitary hot water production in a single unit. Together with an additional sanitary hot water tank, this combination of Nilan products thus constitutes a total solution meeting all the ventilation and heating demands of the house.

One of the main criteria of a certified passive house is that the specific space heating demand does not exceed 15 kWh/(m2a). The certificate of the house reads 14 kWh/(m2a), and now the data show that the actual demand is as low as 10.4 kWh/(m2a).

Perfectly balanced indoor climate

– In terms of space heating, hot water and humidity level, these data all exceed expectations as well. Moreover, the internal temperature of the building has not dropped below 20˚C during the last 12 months, says Mr Falvey.

The indoor temperature has not only constantly been at a comfortable level despite fluctuating outdoor temperatures, it has also been in perfect balance with the relative humidity level ranging between 48 and 62%.

Altogether, the data leave the residents more than satisfied with the investment in this building type that is new to Ireland, but one whose performance agrees with what it promises.



Three Nilan solutions on their way to international construction competition

This year’s Solar Decathlon, an international university competition in low-energy construction, is attended by no less than three teams who have turned to Nilan for an indoor climate solution solution that will send them well on the way towards victory.

At the beginning of September, the 2012 edition of Solar Decathlon will take place in Madrid, Spain. The competition centres around university students’ suggestions to solar-powered, low-energy homes. 20 teams were shortlisted, and after several months of preparations, the teams are assembling their projects at the competition site these days.

An experienced contributor

The homes are designed from scratch by the teams, a process which includes choosing the components that are to make up the ideal solutions for these low-energy constructions.

Three of the teams turned to Nilan in their search for an energy-efficient indoor climate solution. All of them chose the passive house certified Compact P solution, which is a further development of the solutions that provided the heart and lungs of the winning projects at Solar Decathlon 2007 and 2009.

– Solar Decathlon encapsulates innovation and energy efficiency. Since a vital focus of our activities is to affect the development of low-energy products of the future, the competition is a perfect match to the cornerstones of Nilan’s raison d’être and our products. Participating again was thus an obvious choice, not least as it allows us to follow and affect the development of the construction industry towards an increased use of sustainable technology, states Brian Hansen, Nordic Sales Director at Nilan.
Working towards a sustainable future

– The students are the next generation of architects, engineers and technicians as well as among the best within their fields, and we see great potential in the ideas conveyed in the projects. By investing time and resources in Solar Decathlon, we’re able to provide them with as much support as possible in their endeavours to challenge and improve their competences and the industry, states Nilan Key Account Manager Philip Dahl.

Common to the three teams’ projects is the overall aim set by the Solar Decathlon organisation: to design and build homes which rely only on solar power and produce minimum waste products during their life cycles. Yet, the teams’ solutions to this task vary vastly, as they each centre around additional issues facing modern residential construction, as described below.



Team DTU, the only Danish team in the competition, represent the Technical University of Denmark. Their contribution, the FOLD house, takes it shape from a folded rectangular paper and can be adapted to individual needs and various locations.

FOLD consists of one big room with a technical core, holding, among others, Nilan’s Compact P GEO solution that combines ventilation with passive and active heat recovery, production of sanitary hot water, space heating, cooling and heating in a single solution. Nilan’s air distribution system NilAIR is also fitted in the house. Together with solar panels, these Nilan solutions cover the entire ventilation and heating needs of the house.



The Nanotowers are the French Team Rhônes-Alpes’ answer to the residential demands and challenges facing densely populated urban areas in which the residents wish to live in houses as opposed to apartments. The students on the team are from higher educational institutions of the Rhônes-Alpes area.

The towers make for a completely self-sufficient ecosystem providing the residents with individual comfort by challenging conventional apartment house designs.

Each residential space is fitted with NilAIR and the Compact P GEO solution that is interconnected with the overall ecosystem, thus allowing the towers to benefit from Compact P GEO’s many features, as described above.



Students from a number of higher educational institutions of the Aquitain campus in France have established Team Aquitaine Bordeaux Campus. Their contribution is Sumbiosi, a house that adapts to residents’ needs according to the time of year and day.

Each room has multiple functions as a result of the space modularity of the building that aims to provide homes of limited size, yet still meeting the demands normally fulfilled by a large house. Sumbiosi breathes with the Nilan Compact P standard model.

Learn more about this year’s Solar Decathlon at