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PassivHaus gains momentum as college building is certified

The new Rural Regeneration Centre at Hadlow College in Tonbridge, Kent has become the first certified PassivHaus education building in the UK.

The 345m2 building, designed and constructed by Sussex-based company Eurobuild, showcases low carbon and renewable technology. Built to PassivHaus Standards it uses just 10% of the typical energy consumption of a modern building and, according to the college, is the first such building in the UK to be constructed using prefabricated materials.

The building is a sympathetic conversion of, and extension to, redundant calf sheds and comprises a number of seminar rooms, a main exhibition centre, computer suite, and training facilities. A visible energy monitoring display showcases the energy consumption of the building which includes a range of practical on-site technologies such as ground source heat pumps, a green roof and grey rainwater harvesting. The centre is designed to focus exclusively on researching, developing, influencing and supporting the sustainable rural regeneration agenda in the UK.

There are now more than 10,000 certified PassivHaus buildings in the world, which use a simple concept to reduce energy use. A highly insulated envelope makes PassivHaus buildings airtight and reduces energy consumption to such a level that a conventional heating system is rendered unnecessary. Instead, heat generated from the occupants and their day-to-day activities is recovered and used to maintain a comfortable temperature inside the building. A mechanical ventilation system is used to guarantee air quality and efficient heat recovery. Other notable examples of PassivHaus technology include the Denby Dale housing project in West Yorkshire and the Carnegie Village student accommodation development at Leeds Metropolitan University.

For more information go to www.hadlow.ac.uk

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