.Training of site operatives (tool box talks)
On some passive house building sites, traditional attitudes can be entrenched and effort must be made to bring all site operatives on board. Each trade, from foundations to roof, has a part to play in the successful completion of a project. One of the best techniques is to hold a series of tool box talks that all site personnel are required to attend. New or replacement personnel should also receive an induction. Typically these tool box talks examine each detail, the sequence in which it will be constructed, the technologies that will be used when forming the detail, and trades that will impact upon the successful completion of the detail. An atmosphere of collaboration helps these talks to work best and allows any sceptics to voice their concerns. Inviting sceptics to speak up is vital because:
- they may have a valid point and the sessions create an opportunity to address relevant concerns
- there is an opportunity to address their concerns and to bring them on board
- in the most extreme cases there is the opportunity to identify people that will obstruct the success of the project. They can then be replaced by more appropriate trades people.
Site inspections and feedback for building a good passive house
Detailed site reports that support a useful, practical and fully functional feedback loop are invaluable. Discussing the contents of the reports with site managers, rather than simply handing over the document, is critical to establishing this feedback loop. A closer working relationship is required for passive house projects, compared to standard practise.
Site inspections may be made by the design team on a periodic basis. For this reason the site reports that they produce are only a snapshot in time. The best site reports also record the lessons learned from the site visit. They may be fed forward to subsequent phases of the project and for future projects.
Excerpt from “How to build a Passivhaus: Rules of thumb”, chapter by Mark Siddall, Passivhaus Trust, April 2015.