It’s official. Our Passivhaus dental clinic project just received certification from the Passivhaus Institut in Darmstadt, Germany. It’s the first such clinic in the world, quietly delivering Passivhaus performance in its unassuming Roanoke, Virginia locale.
We’re excited about the project, not just for the comfort, health indoor air, and efficiency that it brings Drs. Dickey, Singelton, and Lynch, but also for the example it sets. It’s not only realistic to build dental clinics and other outpatient medical facilities as Passivhaus buildings, it’s also affordable.
Health care buildings account for 11 percent of all commercial energy consumption, using a total of 561 trillion Btu of combined site electricity, natural gas, fuel oil, and district steam or hot water. They are the fourth highest consumer of total energy of all the building types. Any building built today will be in service well into our children’s and grandchildren’s lifetimes and it is imperative upon us as designers and builders to create buildings with the lowest energy footprint possible. This dental clinic was built for a cost equivalent to market rate standard construction; the difference is that we used resources to save energy through low cost insulation and air sealing and conserving long term energy use as well as initial costs by reducing the HVAC systems sizes by over 50%.
The dental clinic takes nearly 75% less energy to heat and cool than a conventionally-built one. That’s transformational change, and it didn’t cost any more to build. Just some Passivhaus smarts and careful construction.
P.S. Our Passivhaus dental clinic has captured the attention of the dental community, see these articles (as well as others on our In The News page):
P.P.S. We’ve posted new pics of the project on our Dental Clinic Case Study page.