Passive House is a highly energy-efficient building standard that also promotes indoor comfort and acoustic insulation.
A building standard that is truly energy efficient, comfortable, affordable and ecological at the same time. Passive House is not a brand name, but a construction concept that can be applied by anyone and that has stood the test of practice.
The design is focused on making best use of the “passive” influences in a building – like sunshine, shading and ventilation – rather than active heating and cooling systems such as air conditioning and central heating. Coupled with very high levels of insulation and airtightness, this makes it possible for a passive home to use 90 per cent less energy than a typical dwelling.
Passive House homes and buildings offer superior indoor comfort due to consistent temperatures and good air quality. They also have the added benefit of reducing both external and internal noise due to the high levels of insulation.
What Is The Requirements For Passive House?
A building must meet several criteria to achieve the passive house standard:
– Space heating: The energy demand for space heating must not exceed 15 kWh/m2 of living space per year or 10 W/m2 at peak demand. This contrasts with the 100 W/m2 needed in a typical house.
– Primary energy: Total energy needed for all domestic applications (heating, hot water and domestic electricity) must not exceed 60 kWh/m2 of living space per year.
– Airtightness: Passive buildings are very airtight and should have no more than 0.6 air changes per hour at 50 Pascals of pressure.
– Thermal comfort: Living areas should be comfortable all year round, with no more than 10 per cent of the hours in a given year exceeding 25°C.
How Do You Build Passive Houses?
To achieve this level of performance, builders use intelligent passive design – for example ensuring the house is oriented and designed to make best use of sun and shade – together with the five passive house principles.
Very high levels of insulation are a key element of passive construction, which keeps heat losses so low that a house can be kept warm either without heating or just by preheating the fresh air entering rooms. Passive buildings feature a continuous insulating envelope like a warm coat around the building, and an airtight layer.
The Passive House Has Got It All
The Passive House Standard offers a new level of quality pairing a maximum level of comfort both during cold and warm months with reasonable construction costs – something that is repeatedly confirmed by Passive House residents.
Quality Passive House buildings are praised for their efficiency due to their high level of insulation and their airtight design. Another important principle is “thermal bridge free design“: the insulation is applied without any “weak spots” around the whole building so as to eliminate cold corners as well as excessive heat losses. This method is another essential principle assuring a high level of quality and comfort in Passive House buildings while preventing damages due to moisture build up.
|Passive House buildings use extremely little primary energy, leaving sufficient energy resources for all future generations without causing any environmental damage. The additional energy required for their construction (embodied energy) is rather insignificant compared with the energy they save later on. This seems so obvious that there is no immediate need for additional illustrations. It is rather worth mentioning though, that the Passive House standard provides this level of sustainability for anyone wishing to build a new construction or renovating an older one at an affordable price – A contribution to protecting the environment.|
Are Passive House buildings a good investment? Passive House buildings not only save money over the long term, but are surprisingly affordable to begin with. The investment in higher quality building components required by the Passive House Standard is mitigated by the elimination of expensive heating and cooling systems. Additional financial support increasingly available in many countries makes building a Passive House all the more feasible.
Any competent architect can design a Passive House. By combining individual measures any new building anywhere in the world can be designed to reach the Passive House Standard. The versatile Passive House Standard is also increasingly being used for non-residential buildings such as administrative buildings and schools.