A couple of weeks ago, we took part to the 2016 edition of the Passive House Window Talks. This year, the location was Riga, Latvia. The focus of the event is the importance of windows for comfort and energy efficiency of highly performing buidlings such as passive houses.
The potential benefit of an early ‘Blower Door Test’.
In December we ran a 'Type B' Blower Door Test on our CasaClima Class A project, "Conte Re", under construction near Albinea (in the province of Reggio Emilia, Italy). Many of our colleagues wondered why we decided to run the test so early in the construction process. Here is a brief overview of the benefits...
A Disastrous Case Study: How Replacing Windows Alone Can Lead to Mold
In our previous articles, we have cautioned that an energy retrofit should be approached with an integrated, whole-building approach, and by a professional with experience in calculating and simulating thermal envelopes. The photos below show what happened to one family's home when they decided to do an independent partial energy retrofit, without consulting a qualified professional. In this case, they decided to replace the old windows of their house with newer, high performance windows, hoping that they would be able to reduce their energy consumption.
Passive house: new construction or renovation?
In our blog, we are dedicating a large number of articles to deep energy retrofits, on one hand, and Passive Houses on the other. However, these two topics are not necessarily distinct from one another: here, we explain why.
How do you define the “health and comfort” of building occupants?
We often refer to the “health and comfort” of building occupants. What does this mean? An ideal building would be one that you wouldn’t notice or feel, one that would allow the body to exist in a healthy and comfortable state and at a comfortable temperature, or even one which would improve your sense of wellbeing upon entering. How do architects know how to design for your comfort? How can that be measured?
Mold and condensation problems
Mold and condensation on the interior surfaces of a house's thermal envelope is a self-evident proof of poor quality and lack of comfort. It can happen on walls, roof, slabs and so on. These phenomena are symptoms of degrading building quality, and have immediate direct consequences on indoor air quality, health of the occupants and the overall comfort inside the house.
What is a ‘thermal bridge’?
In our articles, as we write about Passive Houses, thermal comfort and energy efficiency, we often assign great importance to the term 'thermal bridge'. We'll try to explain here what all the fuss is about.
Energy effiency retrofit: external insulation or new doors and windows?
The future of the construction industry in Italy is in the energy efficiency improvement of our existing building stock. We are often asked whether you should invest in external insulation or in new windows for the highest return of investment, as far as comfort and energy savings. The short answer is neither or both. Allow us to explain...
Near Zero Energy Buildings in Italy
With great delay, the Italian government has finally implemented the EU Directive 2010/31 on Near Zero Energy Buildings. This directive leads the way for the future development of the entire European construction industry: let's explore what it is, shall we?
Why an Italian regional energy certification is not enough to guarantee the quality of a building.
From a purely commercial point of view, the Italian real estate market seems to now understand the concept of the energy certification of buildings. However, the certificate itself is not sufficient to ensure the comfort and quality of the building.…
Read More Why an Italian regional energy certification is not enough to guarantee the quality of a building.