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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.