Passivhaus is a German-based building standard, which, using well-established building physics, delivers the highest standards of energy efficiency and occupant comfort.
By simplifying the building envelope, and careful detailing of building elements, the Passivhaus approach cuts out the unknowns associated with a building’s thermal performance. This approach, followed by greater quality control on site, results in buildings which perform as predicted. We are not aware of any other standard in the world that can consistently deliver this kind of performance.
A typical design approach can be summarised as follows;
- Form, orientation and glazing fraction optimised to reduce heating demand
- high levels of insulation to minimise heat requirements
- triple glazing to avoid cold glass surfaces internally
- Elimination of thermal bridges through simplification of building envelope
- Simplified air tightness barriers to minimise air leakage causing cold draughts.
- Highly efficient heat recovery ventilation to maintain excellent air quality
Benefits of Passivhaus
The benefits of Passivhaus include;
- Super-low energy bills
- Elimination of cold draughts, and radiant discomfort
- No condensation or mould problems
- Excellent indoor air quality
- Quiet- thick insulation, triple glazing, quiet ventilation
Common objections to Passivhaus
- Passivhaus buildings are more expensive!- this can often be the case, but the difference can be minimal as long as the building shape and form is kept simple. Additional costs are insignificant in the long run and will be offset by the energy savings. Savings may be made against solutions which use expensive renewable energy solutions.
- Passivhaus buildings overheat! – the risk is the same with any building, and can be avoided with careful design and modelling.