An AECB initiative providing the tools and knowledge to create low-energy buildings in line with existing and future legislation covering both domestic and non-domestic buildings.

Available to all AECB members, the CarbonLite Programme is a practical step-by-step guide aimed at all those practitioners involved in the design, construction and use of low-energy, low-CO₂ emissions buildings. The Programme is designed to be clear, informative and impartial, and outlines the reasons behind the need for more sustainable building practices, as well as providing wide-ranging yet detailed guidance on the ways in which this change is best achieved.

Through its unique combination of research materials, technical data, training programmes, discussion forums and useful links and contacts, the CarbonLite Programme represents an essential resource in the building sector’s drive towards low-carbon living and the legislation that will regulate it.

The CarbonLite Training Programme offers training courses to those involved in commissioning, designing, constructing and using low energy and low carbon buildings

House showing thermal imagingCarbonLite Retrofit training

This online training course concentrates on developing a good understanding of issues related to heat and moisture in buildings to help retrofitters avoid and/or manage any unintended consequences arising from the repair, insulation, draught proofing and ventilation of existing UK buildings.

Study at home, with on-line tutor sessions with AECB expert practitioners, including Andrew Simmonds, Eric Parks, and Bill Butcher.

Who is this course for?

This course is aimed principally at UK construction professionals and those whose role involves decision making around retrofit.  It brings together a wealth of knowledge on low energy building retrofit  experience and methodology.
To get the most out of taking the full course you will already have good professional knowledge within the construction sector.
You will have a serious interest in how to do advanced energy efficient retrofit and be wanting to deepen your understanding of building physics and the risks associated with measures, to enable you to make informed decisions.

Course Content

  • The direct and indirect benefits of robust retrofit
  • Climate zones, local micro-climates and impact of changing weather patterns
  • Understanding existing building structures and materials
  • Energy and buildings
  • Moisture and buildings
  • Building services, including ventilation and heat
  • Financial appraisal – is retrofit a good investment?
  • Case studies

Read full details about the Retrofit training Course and book your place

 

passivhaus designerThe Certified Passivhaus Designer/Consultant Qualification

Passivhaus Designer qualification is an internationally accredited scheme linked back to the Passivhaus Institut in Germany. The AECB Carbonlite Passivhaus Designer course will prepare you for sitting the exam and also for future involvement in low energy building projects.

On successful completion of the exam delegates are listed on the Passivhaus Designer database where they will be awarded either Passivhaus Designer or Passivhaus Consultant status, depending on existing academic qualifications.

Upcoming course: Hereford

Venue: Hereford Archive and Record Centre (HARC) - Certified Passivhaus Building

Week 1: 5th-8th September

Week 2: 19th-23rd September

Exam: 8th October

Read More about CarbonLite training courses

 

 

AECB Silver Performance Standard

Background to the Silver Standard

Whilst in the UK, a prescriptive standard might still be the best introduction to the approach needed, a lack of suitable UK funding has meant that a sufficiently robust prescriptive standard cannot currently be developed to allow widespread adoption of, and support for, the Prescriptive Standard Route. The original hope was that pre-approved combinations would be issued by the CarbonLite Programme designed to satisfy the requirement of the standard for different types of small building; e.g., detached bungalows, semi-detached houses and flats, without the designer doing any significant further calculations. Practitioner experience has shown that it is very easy for architects to design in energy inefficiency e.g., by a combination of poor glazing orientation, shading elements created by the building form etc. such that it is difficult to meet 40kWh/(m².a) despite PH components and U values.

Certification

Independent certification has been considered and could, in principal, be provided by Passivhaus Certifiers. However there are a number of problems with this route:

  1. Cost – re-entering a building into PHPP can be very time consuming as can obtaining and verifying all the information required. There is no reason why Silver Certification would cost any less than Passivhaus.
  2. Quality Assurance (QA) – whilst certification independent of the project’s design and energy consultants helps avoid the propagation of mistakes, there is a limit as to what the certifier can check at a distance.
  3. If the AECB is to use non-Passivhaus Institute approved certifiers then this would introduce a very onerous level of quality assurance for the AECB.
  4. Potential conflict with Passivhaus standard(s) has been raised as a possible concern.

Thus a self certification route has been developed whereby the self certifier (typically the building’s energy consultant) takes responsibility for certification and for underwriting the Silver Standard claim.The AECB has provided a form of declaration for completion by the certifying consultant but will deliberately not audit or take responsibility for the certification.

The AECB self certification process is designed to make explicit the project’s claim to be a low energy design and to provide the consumer with a degree of protection under trading standards – without the AECB having to get involved in quality control and legal matters.

This approach puts the responsibility for performance claims clearly with the person signing the certificate and a duty of care on the client to ensure that the consultant is competent and suitably insured.

AECB Silver Standard certification costs

All prices are plus VAT and are for guidance only as each project will be individually assessed.

Guide prices for domestic buildings (per unit or terrace block):

AECB Members
up to 250m2 £50
251 – 1500m2 £150
1501m2 and < 3000m2 £180
3001m2 and above £250
Non Members
up to 250m2 £250
251 – 1500m2 £750
1501m2 and < 3000m2 £900
3001m2 and above £1250

Charges for non domestic buildings will be based on the above prices, based on floor area with an additional cost of up to 50%, the final cost to be advised on application to cover the relevant complexity of the project.

AECB Silver Standard criteria

The AECB Silver Standard can be said to be achieved where a building that is designed and modelled using PHPP1 in accordance with current Passivhaus methodology meets the following requirements:

Parameter Target Notes
Delivered Heat and cooling ≤ 40kWh/(m².a) According to PHPP * and Passivhaus methodology.
Primary Energy demand 120 Wh/(m².a) ditto
Air tightness (n50) ≤ 1.5 h-1 (≤ 3 h-1) With MVHR (with MEV) **
Thermal Bridges *** Psiexternal <0.01 W/m Calculated if > 0.01 W/m
Summer overheating <10% <5% recommended


* Passive House Planning Package.
**  it may not be possible to meet the heat demand target without MVHR for some buildings.
*** Standard Passivhaus methodology is used. If no calculation is submitted, then the decision as to whether a detail is thermal bridge free may be queried at the discretion of the AECB.

Notes on compliance

AECB Silver compliance cannot be assumed unless the building has been modelled in PHPP and construction quality has been verified:

  • Providing a PDF copy of the PHPP Verification sheet can be accepted as confirmation that the building has been designed in PHPP
  • A set of key construction details (drawn details and their photographic equivalent) will be required from all self-certified projects to provide evidence of construction quality please use the construction detail checklist provided.

Both of these elements of verification are important as it is possible to design a building that uses Passivhaus Approved components and typical Passivhaus U values but that fails to meet the AECB Silver Standard because of poor form or fenestration.

Energy Performance

  • Specific heat demand according to PHPP ≤40kWh/(m².a)
  • Specific primary energy demand according to PHPP ≤120kWh/(m².a)
  • Air leakage (n50) ≤1.5 h-1 if balanced ventilation with heat recovery used or ≤3 h-1 if mechanical extract ventilation is used3.

Thermal Bridges

The Passivhaus approach of designing out thermal bridges and using external dimensions simplifies modelling and guards against problems such as mould and condensation. For these reasons it is recommended that where possible designs are thermal bridge free according to the Passivhaus definition. Where it is not practical or economical to achieve a thermal bridge free junction, the additional heat loss must be determined. If no calculation is submitted, then the decision as to whether a detail is thermal bridge free may be queried at the AECB’s discretion.

Comfort Requirements

Whilst the Passivhaus approach simplifies the achievement of winter comfort conditions by requiring surface temperatures including glazing to be greater than 17°C, this is unlikely to be achieved with all Silver Standard buildings, which are likely to have higher window U values than required for Passivhaus. To prevent user dissatisfaction the designer will need to consider comfort, for example limiting glazing areas and careful positioning of heat emitters as well as heat distribution within rooms and the building as a whole.

Passivhaus Certification requires summer overheating according to PHPP to be <10% (hours exceeding 25°C) but 5% or less is recommended.

Responsibility

Responsibility for claims made about the building performance lie with the energy consultant or building designer making that claim. Whilst actual energy consumption for any building will vary due to a wide range of factors including annual weather variation, occupant behaviour and normal building tolerances, the claim that a building is designed to the AECB Silver standard can be independently verified.

Where a certificate is provided by the AECB, the responsibility for certification still rests with the professional signing this certificate and not with the AECB however the AECB reserve the right to recall the certificate in the case of proven malpractice or false claims.

The AECB will retain electronic copies of such details as are required to verify that the building meets the AECB Silver standard but does not necessarily check for compliance.

Supporting evidence requirements

Drawing & Photographic Record Drawings. Pdf A4 format Photographs jpeg format.
1 All elevations of completed building One elevation per page. Scale bar to be included. one photo. for each elevation
2 Floor to wall junction – continuity of insulation visible
3 Floor to wall junction – airtightness measures visible
4 Intermediate floor to wall junction – airtightness measures visible
5 Roof to wall junction – continuity of insulation visible
6 Roof to wall junction – airtightness measures visible
7 Typical window in wall detail – jamb with wall insulation measures visible
8 Typical window in wall detail – jamb with airtightness measures visible
9 Typical treatment of services penetration in fabric – with airtightness measures in place
10 Typical MEV or MVHR installation showing ducts & duct insulation
11 Hotwater storage and pipework – showing tank and pipe insulation
12 Windows/doors – showing opening light with seals and glazing spacer bars
Other
13 Air pressure test certificate (pressurisation and depressurisation results)
14 PHPP verification sheet as pdf
15 Copy of building users manual

Support and further information

Silver Standard Certification is handled at the Low Energy Building website and you will be required to either create an account or log in to process certification.

If you require technical assistance or further information about AECB Silver certification please contact us at silvercertification@aecb.net.

Download a bite size article about Silver Standard

AECB members can download Design Guidance Silver Standard for free here.

Non members – join us now

Recent Carbonlite

The AECB CarbonLite Retrofit Training Course

The AECB CarbonLite Retrofit Training Course will enable you to;  develop your understanding of heat and moisture in buildings understand the issues that can arise from the repair, insulation, draught proofing and ventilation of existing UK buildings learn about ways to avoid or manage unintended consequences » Read More

AECB Silver Performance Standard

Background to the Silver Standard Whilst in the UK, a prescriptive standard might still be the best introduction to the approach needed, a lack of suitable UK funding has meant that a sufficiently robust prescriptive standard cannot currently be developed to allow widespread adoption of, » Read More

Omnisense Remote Monitoring System

Omnisense remote monitoring combines wireless sensors with a reporting web site for 24/7 monitoring of humidity, temperature and wood moisture content in buildings.  The remote monitoring system is quick and simple to install (“plug and play”) and easy to use. For more information about the » Read More

Training Venues

London, CEREB, SE1 6NG London South Bank University, Keyworth Street, SE1 6NG The Centre for Efficient and Renewable Energy in Buildings is conveniently situated in central London. CEREB is at the roof level of Building K2 within the LSBU Campus. The closest stations are Waterloo, London Bridge and » Read More

Meet the trainers

Bill Butcher Director of Green Building Store and Green Building Company, Bill Butcher was project leader of the Denby Dale Passivhaus project. Originally trained as a quantity surveyor, he has over 35 years building experience, including construction of the Longwood low-energy house in the early » Read More

Building Certification

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AECB CarbonLite Programme

An AECB initiative providing the tools and knowledge to create low-energy buildings in line with existing and future legislation covering both domestic and non-domestic buildings. Available to all AECB members, the CarbonLite Programme is a practical step-by-step guide aimed at all those practitioners involved in » Read More

PHPP and DesignPH Software

Sophisticated modelling software for real-world accuracy A clear understanding of the calculations and predictions involved in low-energy building relies upon the use of accurate modelling software. Based on dynamic thermal simulations validated by data gathered from hundreds of low-energy buildings, the German Passive House Planning » Read More

AECB Certified Passivhaus Designer Training Courses

Guiding you through becoming a certified Passivhaus Designer or Consultant giving you the confidence to tackle UK Passivhaus projects Our Course Guiding you – friendly trainers and small groups encourage a great learning experience Prepare you for the Passivhaus Institute exam – Dedicated revision day. Our » Read More

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A 3-stage set of realistic and workable energy performance standards lies at the heart of the CarbonLite Programme. Applicable to both residential and non-residential buildings, these performance standards act as clear and achievable targets designed to help guide all those involved in the delivery and » Read More

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