CBG were appointed as M&E and Passivhaus consultants for the new £1.5m student hub building, which has become the first certified Passivhaus for Oxford University, or an Oxford college.

Highlighting the potential for an alternative approach to sustainability and with a few simple changes to the building form, CBG proposed that the building could be suitable for achieving the Passivhaus standard – delivering ultra-low running costs, carbon emissions and high comfort levels for occupants. As well as the usual Passivhaus features – super-thick insulation, triple glazing and air tight construction, the building features a highly glazed south façade. Detailed modelling enabled optimisation of window geometry and brise soleil design to maximise winter solar harvesting, while minimising summer overheating. The building is predicted to exceed the Passivhaus requirements for space heating demand, with a significant proportion of the building’s heat requirement being met by solar gains through the optimised south façade. Summertime overheating is controlled by solar shading, natural ventilation coupled with thermal mass, and night purge.

Photography: Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

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