passive house

The Passive House movement

...a brief history

The "energy efficient house" notion is mostly connected to the 1970s in the United States and Canada, when the Department of Energy and Canadian building professionals had to come up with a response to the oil embargo of the year 1973. The "Super Insulation movement" started to root in the 1980s. William Shurcliff, Harvard trained physicist summarized in his 1986 article in the Energy Review Publication 5 principles for the superinsulation house:


a) thick insulation

b) airtight construction

c) prevention of moisture migration into cold regions within the walls, and other regions where much condensation could occur

d) optimum sizing of window areas

e) a steady supply of fresh air


But then interest in efficiency in the United States dropped in intensity. It was Europe’s time, where the idea was picked up and continued to be developed in the early 1990s. Shortly, the term would no longer refer to a couple of solutions on how to reduce the energy consumption in a passive way, but a whole philosophy emerged: from the low energy house to the passive house.  

Through a number of research projects, a pilot scheme was implemented in 1990: the Kranichstein PassiveHouse in Darmstadt, Germany: the first Passive House in the world, finished in 1991. Dr. Bo Adamson and Dr Wolfgang Feist are the pioneers that gave us a worldwide, future solution to change the built environment. 

Dr. Feist later founded the Passivhaus Institute (PHI) in 1996 and created the Passivhaus Performance Standard in order to guide and promote their newly found ideals. Even today, the Standard imposes strict rules for designing and building with Ultra Energy Efficiency in mind. A certificate for your home will maintain its value over time and offer you the ultimate guarantee that you have one of the most comfortable and resilient homes in the world. 

What does it really mean to build one?

 

Passive House design focuses on energy efficiency while assuring a high living comfort and construction durability. A Passive House needs to run like an ecosystem. Everything has a very specific role and everything must be built flawlessly. Labor quality and a comprehensive understanding of the Passive House principles are mandatory.  Reducing the building energy loads must be met by efficient equipment and systems. A Passive House is a future proofed house, with a better resale value. Low monthly energy bills, quietness, low maintenance with less cleaning, constant thermal comfort are just some of the benefits of living in one. 

efficient

energy efficiency, passives house biobuilds

Passive Houses cuts heating, cooling energy up to 95  per cent.


airtight

airtight passive house

A superiorly airtight building will ensure favourable ventilation and temperatures.


insulation

termal insulation

Insulation acts as a barrier to heat flow, reducing heat loss or heat gain.


ventilation

ventilation with heat recovery

Heat recovery system keeps the house fully ventilated by recovering the heat.





thermal bridges

no thermal bridge passive house

 Minimising thermal bridging is an issue for passive house building.

windows

triple glaze windows passive house design

Energy efficient windows for passive house are  quality triple glazed.