Quick start guide for passive house (passivhaus)!
Identify any maintenance items to be carried out by the occupier, and provide clear and simple instructions for doing so. These can be supplemented by stickers or laminated posters affixed to the equipment if helpful. Provide a very simple quick start guide for passive house to the various controls and techniques, checked and proof read by a non-technical person, ideally someone fluent in the occupier’s language. It should contain a short simple overview followed by a number of simple headings such as ‘what to do if my home is cold’, etc. The advice should be limited under each section to no more than a couple of paragraphs. If it needs more than that, your Passivhaus is not passive enough! Including photographs or graphics of the controls being discussed, with simple descriptions of each function, will be helpful. Also identify who to call when faults or more complex maintenance tasks require action, and if necessary, include a script to use. Complications often arise with inexperienced call centres who may not know what a Passivhaus is or what MVHR stands for.
Consider the provision of stickers or laminated graphic instructions affixed to plant where maintenance is to be carried out by occupants, or untrained persons. More technical or complex documents should be included as appendices within the overall building manual or log book. As part of the quick start guide for passive house consider making a short yet specific ‘how to’ video of each topic for posting on a video sharing website (maybe with a DVD copy for the occupants). These can be accessed on tablets, smart phones and computers and the internet is often the first reference point for today’s generations.
Excerpt from “How to build a Passivhaus: Rules of thumb”, chapter by Chris Parsons, Passivhaus Trust, April 2015.