The three founders of a family-owned dental clinic in Roanoke, Virginia sought to pass their legacy from one generation to the next as they created a new home for their 30-year-old practice. When they discovered they could build their new dental clinic as a Passivhaus (aka “Passive House”) building at no additional construction cost, the question quickly became “how could we not make this investment for our children and their careers?”
The clinic, the first Passivhaus dental clinic in the world, is:
- Cheaper to operate and maintain,
- Healthier to occupy,
- More comfortable to work in, and
- Better for the planet.
Passiv Science co-founder Adam Cohen has designed and built a dozen dental clinics, so he knows that a key concern is cost; HVAC, electrical and plumbing expense for clinics can be high. Typical dental clinic construction expense is $150-200/SF. But our team delivered this Passivhaus dental clinic, with all its performance advantages, for just $155/SF.
How? By bringing advanced building science expertise and integrated delivery to bear. We built an advanced building envelope that eliminated the need for big expensive mechanical equipment, reducing cooling and heating demand by 75% compared to conventional construction, and downsizing mechanical systems by 70%. An energy recovery ventilator provides a constant supply of pre-conditioned fresh air to the space, giving the clinic unsurpassed indoor air quality.
A common refrain from dentists throughout the region is how uncomfortably warm it can be to work at the dentist chair. And no wonder: two professionals hard at work plus a sometimes-stressed-out patient all pushed together under a hot halogen lamp. So we placed a series of passive thermal cooling loops in the concrete slab surrounding each workstation to provide a continual source of super-efficient cooling.
The result of this high performance design and construction by Passiv Science’s experts is a Passivhaus health care facility that’s more comfortable for dentists and patients, cheaper to operate and maintain, and more durable in the long run. And given that health care buildings consume eleven percent of all commercial energy, this Passivhaus dental clinic is also an important win for the environment. So much so that it’s become an international case study showcased by Germany’s Passivhaus Institut as an exemplar of high performance health care construction.