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Press article 2019 (Passive House Plus magazine)

Imperial War Museums archive breaks airtightness record


A state-of-the-art archive building in Cambridgeshire, which has been built to house Imperial War Museums’ (IWM) rich paper collection, has registered the best airtightness test result ever recorded in the UK – and perhaps, the world.


The building at IWM Duxford – one of five IWM museums and historic sites covering war and conflict from the First World War to the present day – has been designed to meet the passive house standard, allowing IWM’s documents collection to be preserved in the best possible conditions.

The 1,238 sqm building, which has just come through practical completion, achieved a final airtightness score of 0.03 air changes per hour (ACH) at 50 Pascals – making the building 20 times tighter than the target for certified passive buildings, and approximately 200 times tighter than current UK requirements for non-domestic buildings. The Passive House Institute is aware of one other project that has achieved 0.03 ACH – but none lower.

The project benefited from bona fide passive house expertise on the design team, led by architects Architype and passive house ...

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