QODA were appointed as the Sustainability, Passivhaus and MEP Consultant via the Perfect Circle Framework for Phase 2 of the Loughborough Sportpark. A 2000m extension to an existing building and targeted Passivhaus ‘Classic’ certification.

While Passivhaus design principles are generally better understood and practised within the industry for standalone residential buildings, they were not currently common usage for large scale commercial buildings and rely on nascent standards in the UK. At the outset of the project there were few successfully completed commercial buildings using Passivhaus in the UK and this presented several challenges.

  1. Form factor and high performing façade to an extent not typically applied to commercial buildings.
  2. Current Building Regulations, British Standards, and general design principles for commercial buildings difficult to reconcile with Passivhaus Standards.
  3. Operational energy use had to be very low by comparable industry design and in use standards.
  4. Lack of Passivhaus experienced supply chain for commercial buildings.

To overcome the challenges, QODA carried out extensive optioneering reviewing multiple façade arrangements and façade specifications to identify the optimum solution which balanced architectural requirements, thermal performance, summertime overheating performance, energy use performance, daylighting, acoustic requirements, fire requirements, maintenance requirements, cost and buildability.

Designed the building to meet the BCO design standards and Building Regulations however with demand control the systems which will operate based the actual occupancy demand. Passivhaus calculations identified significant reductions in peak loads and plant and equipment sizing than was found using those typically used in design practice. This gap required substantiation and justification and QODA used detailed dynamic modelling to understand the environmental and energy performance.

QODA working with the Architect produced an abridged Stage 3 Performance Design which provided the necessary detail for the preferred contractor to remove many of their tender qualifications. As part of this process, QODA proposed to offer our experience in Passivhaus to upskill the Contractor’s technical team pre-construction and to support the site team including the training of Passivhaus champions for each construction package, i.e. façade, roof, windows, MEP.