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Smart Ventilation System Given Passivhaus Certification

Smart Ventilation System Given Passivhaus Certification
20 September 2021

SAV Systems' AirMaster AM 1000, a mechanical ventilation unit, has been awarded Passivhaus Component certification.

The flagship AM 1000 is the first decentralised, duct-free, mechanical ventilation unit with heat recovery (MVHR) on the market to be awarded the certification. This enables the AirMaster AM 1000 to be used in Passivhaus school buildings.

The core philosophy of Passivhaus design is to create a comfortable and energy-efficient building with minimal energy wastage, raising the standard of the buildings it is applied to.


City of Edinburgh Council 


After the Scottish government has brought their target forwards to 2045, the City of Edinburgh Council (CEC) set their net-zero goal for 2030. The CEC has identified certified Passivhaus design as a method for slashing carbon emissions. To that end, all new schools built in Edinburgh will be certified Passivhaus.

SAV Systems'  time working with the City of Edinburgh Council (CEC) inspired them to undertake Passivhaus certification.

Ventilation plays a crucial part in two requirements of passive house standards: airtightness and space heating demand. Openings in buildings, such as windows and porous building materials can allow heat to escape, wasting the energy generated by the building. Consequently, Passivhaus buildings have high airtightness and low heat loss. However, in increasing the airtightness of a building to conserve energy, indoor air quality can suffer. Therefore, a mechanical ventilation solution is required to manage indoor air quality without wasting energy.

There is a range of approved MVHR solutions available under the Passivhaus framework. Many of these are centralised systems, which normally have high specific fan powers. AirMasters are decentralised and air distribution is duct-free, so fan power is kept to a minimum.

A typical classroom installation requires one AirMaster AM 1000 per room with intake and exhaust connection to outside. The AM 1000 can recover up to 90% of the room’s heat using an aluminium heat exchanger, reducing the building’s heat load and heat loss.



Picture: a photograph of the Passivhaus certified component logo


Benefits of Decentralised MVHR in Passivhaus buildings:


  • Lower energy consumption due to low specific fan power
  • Lower operating cost due to reduced electricity demand
  • Limited project planning and dimensioning are required as positioning does not require excessive planning
  • Ventilation becomes a component of the building instead of a governing design factor
  • No ducting, diffuser grilles and suspended ceiling required due to the use of the Coanda Effect
  • Low pressure drops through limited ductwork
  • Faster building process in that installation can be done room by room as soon as the room is ready, instead of waiting for building phases to be completed
  • Fire dampers are not required as units do not exceed the room fire cell
  • Demand control on a room-by-room basis, by PIR sensors, CO2 sensors, or TVOC + CO2 sensors
  • Operational issues only affect one room, not a large group of rooms
  • Lower cost of ventilation units including a great reduction in the cost of both the building and installation
  • Units can easily be relocated if room function changes


Passivhaus in Education in the UK


Willmott Dixon has been appointed by Spelthorne Borough Council to deliver a Passivhaus leisure centre that aims to be one of the most advanced, energy-efficient leisure facilities in the world.

It will be the first wet and dry leisure centre to achieve the Passivhaus standard in Greater London, and will be designed to consume up to 70 per cent less energy compared with a standard new building, optimising natural daylight and integrating photovoltaic panels to generate energy from renewable sources.

Over at Canary Wharf, 2 Trafalgar Way is set to be the largest Passivhaus student accommodation scheme in Europe.

For a deep dive into a Norway primary school, a best-in-class example of Passivhaus design, click here. 

Picture: a graphic showing how the MVHR system works, with stale air being exhausted 

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 20 September 2021


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