by Wojciech Brożyna – MD of Aluprof UK
When we talk of Passivhaus we generally think of ‘one-off’ grand designs style projects where costs seem no objection, but this is a dated view as Passivhaus is rapidly becoming a mainstream construction methodology. Recent cost analysis from the Passivhaus Trust (1) suggests that a Passivhaus certified residential scheme is around 8% more expensive than an equivalent competitive tender build; further analysis suggests as Passivhaus claims more middle ground in construction, the extra-over costs can reduce to just 4%.
Passivhaus is not all about cost, it is about a commitment to net-zero carbon emissions. Currently housing stock is accountable for approximately 35% of our total global energy consumption, so insulation is key in order to reduce our reliance on energy and our ability to reduce and phase out fossil heating fuels, such as gas. There are also health benefits and fuel poverty issues which are completely covered by adopting a Passivhaus construction.
Given the background growth of Passivhaus, Aluprof are delighted to announce their involvement in what is claimed to be the world’s largest low-carbon student residential development taking place in Bristol for The University of the West of England (UWE). The new development taking place at the Frenchay Campus covers approximately 65,000m2 and provides 2,250 new student residences. The scheme started on site in 2021 and is set to have the first phase complete for first-year student intake in 2023. Designed by Passivhaus Trust members Stride Treglown Architects and QODA Consulting, the new halls will offer carbon neutral accommodation which falls inline with the University’s ‘2030 strategy’. The project follows on from what now will be the second largest student accommodation project completed to date, ’The House’ at Cornell Tech in New York.
Aluprof UK became involved in the design development of the scheme from RIBA Stage 2 and worked alongside Stride Treglown, QODA Consulting and Turner & Townsend to develop a high performance facade solution which helps the new development to achieve Passivhaus standards. Facade detailing and cost analysis support was provided by Aluprof UK prior to tender release to ensure budgets met stakeholders’ expectations. Aluprof UK also offered tender support to VINCI Construction UK, the main contractor awarded the scheme, in the careful selection of Aluprof experienced subcontractors to deliver a compliant tender. Aluprof UK have been involved in a collaborative process from RIBA Stage 2 onwards and will continue to support the project through to its completion.
Denval, located in Cardiff, have been nominated to install the high insulation windows and doors on the project. Alex Wysom, Operations Director at Denval takes up the story, “Aluprof worked with Stride Treglown Architects to provide a comprehensive specification for their high performance Passivhaus certified MB-104 window system from the earliest stage, Denval provided cost plan and technical support to the project management company and subsequently the main contractors who were providing tenders for the scheme.
“Since the earliest stages of our involvement with the project, we have worked closely with Aluprof, who have supported Denval with excellent technical information, to enable the most cost effective solutions to be established for this large Passivhaus development”.
The Aluprof systems specified for the project consist of MB-104 SI (Passivhaus Certified) windows and doors and the MB-SR50N HI+ (Passivhaus Certified) curtain walling system. The specified finish uses a Super Durable Polyester or Class 2 powder coat in an AkzoNobel Interpon ‘Gold Pearl’ colour, reference YY217E. Aluprof have long been recognised across Europe for providing Passivhaus certified products and Aluprof UK are active members of the Passivhaus Trust in the UK.
The project is to be completed in two phases, first is the redevelopment of Carroll Court on campus where student houses have been demolished to make way for the start on site in November 2021 by main contractor Vinci Construction. Phase one will see the 900-bedroom Stride Treglown designed buildings take shape and will be the first to complete in 2023. Installation of the Aluprof windows and doors on site is anticipated to begin in July 2022.
The second phase will see the redevelopment of three existing car parks offering a further 1,350 rooms that will comprise phase two are expected to be available one to two years after the completion of phase one. Once complete the new buildings will yield a 54% reduction in running costs and carbon emissions compared with a typical building built to current building regulations.
Aluprof UK are delighted to be leading and supporting the development of Passivhaus construction across the UK and are already working with specifiers and developers on further schemes to help active the UK’s challenge of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.
Further information is available on the company’s website at aluprof.co.uk or direct from their UK head office in Altrincham on 0161 941 4005.