A blended design of social housing apartments designed around Passivhaus principles
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Protect BarriAir and reflective VC Foil Ultra, the air and vapour control layers from Protect Membranes, have been specified and installed by specialist design and build contractors Stewart & Shields in Scotland’s first multi-storey Passivhaus building.
Used as part of a residential conversion project at Old Carntyne Church, a semi-derelict building in Glasgow, the construction involved mixing traditional construction with new, with the church structure being restored alongside a new build extension which was built offsite. The result was a blended design of social housing apartments designed around Passivhaus principles with the overall aim of contributing to the elimination of fuel poverty, on behalf of client Shettleston Housing Association.
The development, funded through Glasgow’s Affordable Housing Supply Programme and renamed Cunningham House has transformed the building into one of Scotland’s most
energy-efficient affordable housing developments and is the city’s largest Passivhaus development to date, designed to extremely high standards of energy efficiency and airtightness. The development won the Best Affordable Housing Development (Urban) category at the 2019 Inside Housing Development Awards with Stewart & Shields also being nominated as a finalist in the Scottish Home Awards for the project.
Working with Page Park Architects for the main project design and John Gilbert Architects to ensure the Passivhaus Standard was designed into the scheme, Stewart & Shields delivered a total of nineteen apartments. Fourteen of these were modified and conventionally built flats within the existing church structure, incorporating thirteen amenity flats and a semi-detached three bedroom home with five units being constructed within the new build timber frame five-storey tower extension which was built to full Passivhaus Standard and is independently certified by the Passive House Institute. With strict levels of airtightness levels and vapour control required in order to deliver energy efficiency on the project, Stewart & Shields turned to Protect Membranes for a solution.
Derek McIlreavy, Business Development and Design Manager at Stewart & Shields Ltd commented, “The specification of materials for this development was based on the need for a high quality end result to meet Passivhaus criteria. We knew that Protect BarriAir and VC Foil Ultra would be up to the job in terms of airtightness to help us achieve the critical results needed to be independently certified.
We had to beat 0.6 ach-1 @50Pa for airtightness and our tests showed a result of 0.33 which overall gave an added value solution to our
client that helps to future proof these homes going forward.”
Protect’s BarriAir and VC Foil Ultra membranes form part of a comprehensive range of wall, ceiling and floor construction membranes alongside roofing underlays and accessories which are ideal for both traditional and offsite construction, with a portfolio to help ensure the whole building envelope and internal structure can be controlled in terms of moisture management, condensation control and thermal resistance.
For details of how Protect products can be incorporated into both residential and commercial builds, please visit the website, email
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