Quality Assurance for Passive Houses

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Quality Assurance for Passive Houses are key to achieve the desired thermal performance of the building. Those cities and region which decided to become frontrunners in construction of Passive Houses have decided for their quality assurance procedure and perform their steps in a specific manner.

In the following you find a compilation of the different approaches which are not so different when looking closer:

Passive House Institute:

Quality assurance for a certified Passive House follow a 3 step approach.

  1. The first step is conducted during the planning phase. The designer involves the certifyer and submits the plannung documents and the PHPP calculation in order that the Passive House suitability is checked. During the construction the site supervisor conducts the required site inspections and checks the quality of the work in order to ensure that the work is executed as planned.
  2. In a second step the updated PHPP calculation and drawings are submitted according to the actually executed construction work. The site supervisor guarantees with his signature that the work has been executed according to the submitted drawings.
  3. In a third step the certifyer examines the updated PHPP calculation and the docuements. If the requirements are met finally the certifyer issues the certificate.

More details you find in the article "Quality approved Certified Passive House" or on Passipedia in English: Passipedia: Quality Assurance in German: Passipedia: Qualitätssicherung

City of Heidelberg - Bahnstadt:

n the Bahnstadt in Heidelberg the PHPP calculation is a requirement for energetic design and quality control. The PHPP calculation as well as a concept for airtightness and for avoidance of thermal bridges must be provided to the City together with the building application.

The PHPP calculation is checked in this context and must be accepted by the City. It must be updated according to the actually executed work and must be provided in an accordingly updated form for final acceptance after completion.

Quality assurance in the Bahnstadt-Heidelberg also includes on-site inspections by the City: e.g. thickness of insulation, inspection of main components and the final examination: technical inspection of the main building components. Documentation of flow rate adjustment of the ventilation system and an airtightness test are compulsory for the final acceptance. You can find more details: Persch_Quality_Management_Bahnstadt_Heidelberg

In the Bahnstadt, evaluation of heating consumption and electricity consumption data by the public utilities services is being carried out separately for each block of buildings/building. Active intervention measures will be taken in case of deviation from the consumption specified in theory, and the respective investors will be contacted in order to identify any potential sources of error and rectify these.

Hanover, proKlima:

ProKlima in Hanover has accredited experts who check the energy balance calculation with PHPP and the execution of the construction details. These experts also provide technical advice how to achieve the Passive House Standard, for residential and non-residential buildings.

Because the monitoring of the consummption data when the building is used are important to check if the buildings perform as they should proKlima in Hanover set up a scheme, where the inhabitants are involved. In zero:e park, a new quarter a which targets at consuming zero energy the inhabitants receive small incentives to participate in the quality assurance process. Read more, in German: Zero: e-Park Wie wenig Energie braucht Ihr Passivhaus wirklich?

City of Frankfurt:

The City of Frankfurt am Main has published a procedure for quality assurance accompanying construction work. Basically, this is divided into the following stages:

Preliminary information: The basic priciples are explained to the planner.

  • Step 1: Consultation phase: Exchange about the Passive House technology and the specific plot situation.
  • Step 2: Preliminary planning: Check of the preliminary design, assessment of the PHPP and Passive House suitability, or also appropriate suggestions for optimisation.
  • Step 3: Approval planning: Approval planning and PHPP is complete. A decision is made regarding Passive House suitability, or suggestions for improvement may be made for the reassessment .
  • Step 4: Implementation planning: implementation planning, the detail drawings of all relevant connections and the building services plans: Evaluation of the implementation planning, suggestions for improvement.
  • Step 5: Quality control/site supervision: 2 on-site meetings (on-site quality assurance). Prerequisite for the first meeting: completion of the building shell with roof structure without plaster, window installation. For the second meeting: completion and accessibility of the building envelope. An airtightness test for leakage detection is carried out before/at the second meeting.
  • Step 6: Completion: This is a results check with a final meeting after completion of the work.

The procedure can be downloaded here in German. A compilation in English language can be found in a separate article: Quality Asssurance of Passive House construction in Frankfurt.