The Passive House is a type of building that is designed to be energy efficient and environmentally friendly. It was invented in the 1980s and has gone on to become one of the world’s most popular green buildings. The idea behind this type of design originated from Germany, where they were first built as an alternative for those who wanted to live more sustainably without sacrificing their comfort or convenience. This article will discuss how these buildings are different from other types, why people choose them, what makes them so great, and some common questions about Passive Houses that you may have yourself.
1. How do they differ from other green buildings?
The design of a Passive House is unlike many others. To put it briefly, they are designed to reduce their energy consumption as much as possible and maintain comfort at the same time. They use advanced insulation and heat recovery ventilation to keep temperature consistent with little energy input. The building envelope (the walls and roof) has high levels of insulation – typically more than 12 inches – so there is no heat escaping. Windows also have low-e glazing, meaning that it reflects back infrared radiation, allowing less heat to escape or come inside. Also, because the windows are gas filled instead of air filled, they hold out moisture to prevent condensation on the surface of the glass where mold can form internally.
The air tightness of the Passive House is the other thing that makes it stand out. Because there are no drafts or openings in the structure, indoor air quality remains good because pollutants cannot escape easily into the environment. With all of these combined factors, Passive Houses use 90% less heat than a conventional home for heating and 60-70% less energy for cooling (depending on climate).
2. Why do people choose to build them?
Passive Houses were designed to be more affordable than an equivalent sized conventional house due to their high levels of insulation. The design requires fewer construction materials, too, which brings down costs. Also, since they are so well-insulated, they save money on utilities by only using what’s needed and not wasting energy on heating and cooling. Even if a Passive House costs more to build initially, the owner will save money over time due to these savings.
3. What makes them so great?
After all, you’re probably wondering why people choose to live in something that seems uncomfortable or inconvenient at first glance. The thing about Passive Houses is that they are really only uncomfortable during extreme weather conditions. During summer months, ventilation with fresh air can be difficult because it’s so airtight inside, but an automated electrical ventilation system called an MVHR (Mechanical Ventilation Heat Recovery) solves this problem by bringing fresh outdoor air in without compromising indoor air quality or temperature. During the winter, Passive Houses are kept warm with their high levels of insulation, but it can be cold indoors if extra heat isn’t provided. To solve this problem, they use modern heating systems that provide plenty of hot water for showers and laundry facilities while saving energy at the same time.
4. Common questions:
I’m still unsure. Why should I build a Passive House?
Passive Houses were designed to be “superinsulated,” meaning they use the best insulation materials and construction techniques available. As mentioned previously, this design creates an airtight home that can last for generations without losing temperature or quality of indoor air. The uniqueness of Passive Houses makes them highly desirable, especially by those who want to live more sustainably while maintaining their current lifestyles. They offer sustainable benefits in both hot and cold climates, which is why it’s being built in many places around the world today.
What determines how much energy a Passive House uses during different seasons? How can I find out?
The amount of heating or cooling a Passive House requires depends on where it is located and at what time of year. In really cold climates, around five degrees Celsius around the exterior of a Passive House might require heating while 18 degrees C may be ideal without any additional heat being supplied to the building. In warmer climates during summer months, a Passive House can become too hot for human comfort with outdoor temperatures over 35 degrees C, but there are systems in place that will bring down these indoor temperatures. How much energy passive houses use depends on how well they were insulated from the start, which goes back to why building professionals should always be consulted before construction begins if people want their homes or businesses to be as efficient as possible once complete.
What design features should I look for when thinking about building a passive house?
Since Passive Houses are different depending on where they are located, it’s important to research what designs would work best for you. It will be easiest to make the decision after speaking with a certified Passive House designer or builder about your local climate and budgetary concerns.
What should I do if I’m not sure if my house is already a Passive House?
If you’re not sure whether or not your building is already a Passive House, it may be worth finding out if there’s someone in your area who can inspect and certify it. Living in a Certified Passive House also gives you the chance to network and meet others with similar interests so you can share ideas with one another too. A great resource for information on starting conversations is the online user group, which has a link to a Type Search function that can help you find someone nearby who specializes in Passive House design and construction.
What are some benefits of living in a Certified Passive House?
There are many benefits of living in a Certified Passive House, but the most important one is their high level of energy efficiency. Using less energy means more money saved for other expenses while also saving the environment from the harmful effects of fossil fuels. In addition, residents will feel more comfortable knowing they’re not using as much energy as they thought they needed to keep themselves warm or cool during extreme weather conditions. They’ll also enjoy how quiet it can be inside because there’s no constant humming noise like there is with an A/C unit running on full blast. If you’d like to know more, visit the Passive House Institute US online bookstore for new information on many of these topics!