30.11.2020

Vulcan Timber Officially Accepted for Window Joinery in Passive Buildings

New Zealand-made Abodo Vulcan can now be used for joinery elements in Passive House construction.

Passive House consultants, Sustainable Engineering, in correspondence with the Passive House Institute in Darmstadt, have recently confirmed certain values for thermal conductivity for Vulcan timber.

This means homeowners and window manufacturers can now use Abodo Vulcan timber to create window joinery for Passive buildings.

Passive House design is becoming increasingly popular as the world looks to decrease carbon output. Stemming from historical building methods born out of necessity, such as turf roofed houses in Iceland and sun-shielding overhangs in ancient China, modern-day Passive House certification is a framework for creating a building that regulates temperature and moisture levels without the need for external heating and cooling.

A Passive House is thermally comfortable and healthy, as well as being energy efficient.

Passive buildings will meet a number of rigorous standards, and they are often regulated using technology, so the house responds automatically to changing temperatures. Insulation is high-spec to avoid loss of energy through peripheries.

Often a high-level operable window will expel excess heat in the summer. In cooler weather, heat from solar gain and from the use of hot water and cooking is captured and recirculated. Solar panels adorn the roof and wide overhangs shield windows and doors from direct light and heat.

Airflow and moisture levels must be carefully managed for a home to be certified as Passive, which makes windows an important factor. Timber is a good insulator and, unlike aluminium, it does not require thermal breaks (insulation material used to prevent heat loss or moisture retention between the inside and outside of a window) making it an optimal choice for passive designs.

However, Passive certified window joinery or the timber required to create it often has to be shipped across the globe, bumping up the carbon footprint of the building. Abodo’s Vulcan timber is created locally from thermally treated New Zealand plantation pine, making it a carbon negative building material. Being New Zealand made, it is also highly accessible, especially important in this challenging year. This makes Vulcan timber’s approval great news for builders, specifiers and homeowners.

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