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K Rend first retrofit Passivhaus

Posted on 26 July 2017

When prospective homeowners Gerry and Melissa McPhillips came to Chris Allen Architects with ambitions to create a home that was Enerphit certified, the Fermanagh architect didn’t shy away from the challenge.

And what a challenge it was. For several reasons:

Firstly, the building the couple were moving into wasn’t a house – it was a disused school. Achieving Passivehouse standard in a new build can be difficult never mind retrofitting Passive into an old building.

A typical 60s schoolhouse, the building was an elongated, single-storey dwelling with huge south facing windows and extensive grounds with one added advantage playing in its favour – it stood right at the end of the lane that led up to his parents’ farm.

The McPhillips and Chris agreed that the appearance of the original school should be dramatically transformed and therefore selected a K Rend lightweight render system. This was made up of K Rend HP14 basecoat with glass fibre reinforcing mesh and a top coat of K Rend Silicone TC15 Pure White. The render is naturally water repellent guaranteeing a low maintenance finish. Importantly, the consistency of colour and quality of finish ensured the transformation to contemporary family home was successfully achieved.

The result is a modern home for a young family which is energy efficient, has low running costs and low environmental impact, while at the same time does not compromise the aesthetic intention of both client and architect.