Designing a sustainable Passive House
Fresh Network Member, Jordan Parnass Digital Architecture, were engaged as Passive House Designers to oversee the renovation of an obsolete factory building in an industrial park in Katunayake, to create a new green product development centre that would be a model for high-performance buildings in the region. Working in collaboration with a talented team of local architects and engineers, an integrated design process and detailed energy modelling by Steven Winter Associates led to the development of a Passive House performance spec for the new facility. Engineered to meet EnerPHit standards for efficiency, the project will result in a greater than 75% reduction in primary energy use while providing occupants with a temperate, comfortable working environment.
an economic catalyst and model for sustainable development.
The Star Innovation Center is a product development facility located outside of Colombo in Katunayake, Sri Lanka. Intended to be a global model for the entire garment industry, the project sets a new high bar for sustainability, energy efficiency and worker comfort.
By choosing to renovate an obsolete building to Passive House standards, the project dramatically reduces the waste, carbon emissions and fossil fuels typically required for demolition and a new build, and promotes the client’s commitment to maintaining high standards in social, environmental, ethical and safety compliance within the global fashion industry.
The project is the first Passive House project in South Asia, and one of only two certified Passive House factory buildings in the world. Annual energy consumption will be cut by over 75% compared to a conventional “efficient” modern industrial building.
The project is a pioneer in applying Passive House technology to a tropical monsoon climate, which features steady warm temperatures year round but extremely high relative humidity.
Careful design and engineering of the building systems and enclosure ensure that workers enjoy year-round comfort in a workspace that provides abundant natural light, low humidity, filtered fresh air, and maintains temperatures near a constant 24°C (77°F).
Thorough testing of the airtightness and remote monitoring of the ongoing energy usage provide quantitative confirmation of the building performance, confirming projected operational cost savings for the client and vastly upgraded workplace environmental standards for the employees.
From the outset, our agenda was to assemble an integrated project team including local architects, engineers, fabricators and builders to encourage technology transfer and demonstrate the feasibility of high-performance building in the region.
By promoting the project and inspiring the local building industry there is a clear path to both reducing carbon emissions and putting an end to worker “sweatshop” conditions.