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Passivhaus is a building standard which aims to dramatically reduce energy usage of a building. It can be applied to domestic as well as non-domestic buildings and to new build as well as refurbishment. Passivhaus buildings provide a high level of occupant comfort while using very little energy for heating & cooling with massively reducing running costs.

The key elements of passive design are:
- building location & orientation on the site;
- high levels of insulation,
- high performance windows
- elimination of thermal bridges
- high levels of airtightness
- a mechanical ventilation system with highly efficient heat recovery.

"Slievemoyle cottages have used the services of Hillen Architects for several building projects over a period of years and have been extremely happy with the outcomes. Barry has been receptive to our ideas and brought these together with his professional expertise to produce plans which meet our needs. The buildings produced have been practical, functional, aesthetically attractive and yet not expensive to build."
– Greer and Maureen Lowe

"We used Barry to design and oversee the build of our house in Newcastle. He overcame problematics planning issues, and had an excellent relationship with our builder than culminated in the completion of our property on time. Barry had a professional and imaginative approach to the build, which helped us through the design and build process."
– David and Anna Quin

"Barry's efficiency in obtaining our Planning Permission within a short timescale and with no objections or amendments required is further testimony to his excellent attention to detail and his expertise and professionalism. His willingness to assist and co-operate with Building Control officials and the Building Contractor involved in the building of our home removed a lot of potential pressure for us and provided us with full confidence that our project was managed to the highest of standards."
– Damian and Niamh McLaughlin