What is a Passive House?
A Passive House is a house that requires very little energy to maintain a constant, pleasant temperature. In this sense, such buildings are almost “passive” as they need hardly any active heating or cooling to stay comfortable year-round. Excellent insulation and highly efficient heat recovery systems make this possible. The concept is about intelligent design: reaching the desired goal with minimal use of complex systems and non-renewable resources.
What are the Passive House benefits?
Energy efficiency lies at the heart of the Passive House concept. Over the course of a year, a passive house building uses no more than the equivalent of 1.5m³ of natural gas (15kWh) to heat each square metre of living space. This can equate to a more than 90 percent reduction in space heating and cooling energy use as compared to consumption in typical building stock. In comparison, a conventional new build still requires 6 to 10 or even more cubic meters of natural gas (15kWh) per year and square metre of living space, depending on building quality and location.
Insulation improves thermal comfort and reduces the risk of condensation–no more cold internal surfaces in winter and also greatly reduces the risk of mold.
The mechanical ventilation unit used in passive house construction effectively recovers warm air and cool air that would otherwise be wasted whilst also filtering the air that’s coming into the building. This leads to fewer pollutants in the air and a lower risk of condensation meaning a healthier indoors. Yes, you can also OPEN your windows!
Passive Houses are characterised by consistent temperatures on all interior surfaces and constant indoor climates without temperature swings or draughts–during cold winter months as well as hot summer periods–thus providing a consistent and comfortable environment.