Certified Passive House project in Sri Lanka paves way for future commercial buildings

JPDA has sought to establish a clear path to both reducing global carbon emissions and putting an end to worker “sweatshop” conditions.
Photo courtesy v2com

Jordan Parnass Digital Architecture (JPDA) has completed the first Certified Passive House project in South Asia, confirming that ultra-high-performance efficiency standards are achievable for buildings in any climate.

The Star Innovation Center is a product development facility located near Colombo, Sri Lanka and is one of only two certified Passive House factory buildings in the world. Intended to be a global model for the entire garment industry, the project sets a new standard for sustainability, energy efficiency, and worker comfort in which annual energy consumption will be cut by more than 75 percent compared to conventional modern industrial buildings.

By renovating an obsolete building to Passive House standards, the project dramatically reduced the waste, carbon emissions, and fossil fuels typically required for demolition and new construction, and supported the client’s commitment to maintain high standards in social, environmental, ethical, and safety compliance.

The majority of existing high performance buildings have been located in cool climates where heating is the primary consideration. This project marks the first time Passive House technology is applied to a tropical monsoon climate, which features steady warm temperatures year-round but extremely high relative humidity.

The design and engineering of the building systems and enclosure ensures that workers enjoy year-round comfort in a workspace that provides 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, achieving projected operational cost savings for the client and vastly upgraded workplace environmental standards for the employees.

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