Cold Climates demand everything you’ve got!
Andrew Peel from Peel Passive House Canada said: “If you like a challenge, design a Passive House car dealership in a cold climate.” And that is exactly this building in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada, with functions such as car dealership, selling and service.
There were many challenges due to the harsh climate and also the business goals of the owner: however, the simplified approach was critical, and everything had to be thought through the details very early in the design stage (estimate equipment and occupants loads, identify all energy flows, and also adding some buffer as not everything could be predictable and identified). Thus, this project is a great example of integrated design and collaboration of all parties.
HVAC, internal gains and building systems!
According to the architect Lukas Armstrong, “the largest challenge was designing an HVAC system that met the safety requirements of a repair shop as well as the Passive House thresholds.”
With 65% of glazing on the west facade required internal operable blinds coupled with insulated spandrel panels in the top row of the windows to mitigate the solar gains. Several large overhead doors for cars in the service area have lower levels of insulation and issues with air infiltration. Each of the six service bays is outfitted with a separate operable fan for service testing equipment.
Another challenge was that cars also have to be running during repairs, generating exhaust temperatures and all cars needs to be washed after servicing, requiring high water consumption. Because of the west-facing glazing, the cooling load in the showroom and office space dominated the HVAC equipment sizing.
I don’t believe in consuming energy just to consume it!
Garrett Scott, Owner, Scott Subaru said: “The extra-thick exterior walls not only keep it quiet on the inside, but they will also eliminate noise-pollution escaping from the car shops. The air is fresher and cleaner, which will improve employee productivity and decrease the likelihood of headaches and air-borne illnesses, like the common cold. I live my life off a waste-not-want-not kind of philosophy, so if we don’t have to consume all of the energy we do now, why should we?”
Read more about interesting case studies or how challenging reference buildings work!