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What is a Passive House?

A Passive House is a type of building design that aims to reduce energy consumption and minimize carbon emissions by optimizing a building's energy efficiency. It achieves this by utilizing a set of design principles and technologies that significantly reduce the need for heating and cooling systems.

Advantages of a Passive House

There are many advantages to building and living in a passive house, some of which include:

  • Energy Efficiency: Passive houses use up to 90% less energy for heating and cooling compared to conventional buildings, resulting in significantly lower energy bills.

  • Comfort: The high level of insulation and airtightness in passive houses help maintain a consistent indoor temperature and minimize drafts, resulting in a comfortable living environment.

  • Health: Passive houses typically have superior indoor air quality due to advanced ventilation systems that bring in fresh air while filtering out pollutants.

  • Sustainability: Passive houses are built with environmentally friendly materials and are designed to minimize energy consumption, resulting in lower carbon emissions.

  • Resilience: The airtightness and insulation in passive houses make them more resilient to extreme weather conditions, such as heat waves and cold snaps.

Technical Details of a Passive House

Passive houses typically have the following technical features:

  • High levels of insulation in walls, floors, and roofs to minimize heat loss and gain.

  • Advanced windows and doors that are triple-glazed and airtight to minimize heat loss and gain.

  • An airtight building envelope that minimizes the infiltration of outdoor air.

  • Advanced ventilation systems that provide fresh air while recovering heat from the outgoing air.

  • Passive solar design principles that utilize the sun's energy to heat the building.

  • Efficient lighting and appliances that minimize energy use.



Steps we take to achieve Passive Standard 

Building a passive house requires careful attention to detail and a focus on achieving airtightness and thermal performance. The construction process typically involves:

  • Designing the building to meet passive house standards using specialized software and modeling tools.

  • Constructing an airtight building envelope using specialized membranes, tapes, and sealants.

  • Installing high levels of insulation in walls, floors, and roofs.

  • Installing advanced windows and doors that are triple-glazed and airtight.

  • Installing an advanced ventilation system that provides fresh air while recovering heat from outgoing air.

  • Testing the building's airtightness and thermal performance to ensure it meets passive house standards.

The exact energy consumption of a passive house will depend on factors such as its size, location, and the local climate. However, in general, a passive house should use no more than 15 kWh of energy per square meter of living space per year for heating and cooling.

To put this in perspective, a typical conventional building in Europe consumes between 150-250 kWh of energy per square meter of living space per year for heating and cooling. This means that a passive house uses only about 10% of the energy that a conventional building uses for heating and cooling.

Retrofitting: Existing buildings can be retrofitted to meet passive house standards, although this can be more challenging and expensive than building a new passive house from scratch.

Cost: Building a passive house can be more expensive upfront than a conventional building, as it requires higher quality materials and specialized construction techniques. However, over the long-term, a passive house can be much more cost-effective due to its lower energy consumption.

Climate-specific design: While passive house principles can be applied to different climates, the specific design strategies and materials may vary based on the local climate. For example, in colder climates, more emphasis may be placed on insulation and airtightness, while in warmer climates, shading and natural ventilation may be more important.



Passive houses rely on a combination of design features to reduce energy consumption and maintain comfortable indoor temperatures without the need for conventional heating or cooling systems. Here are some of the key design features:

  1. Super-Insulation: Passive houses are built with highly insulated walls, roofs, and floors to minimize heat loss and gain.

  2. Airtight Building Envelope: The building envelope is designed to be airtight, which minimizes the infiltration of outdoor air and reduces heat loss.

  3. Triple-Glazed Windows: The windows in passive houses are typically triple-glazed and airtight, which further reduces heat loss and gain.

  4. Heat Recovery Ventilation: Passive houses use a mechanical ventilation system that recovers heat from outgoing air to preheat incoming fresh air. This system helps maintain good indoor air quality while minimizing energy consumption.

  5. Passive Solar Design: Passive houses are designed to take advantage of the sun's energy to heat the building. This may involve orienting the building to maximize solar gain, using shading devices to prevent overheating in summer, and incorporating thermal mass to store heat.

  6. Energy-Efficient Appliances and Lighting: Passive houses use energy-efficient appliances and lighting to further reduce energy consumption.

By combining these design features, passive houses are able to maintain comfortable indoor temperatures with minimal energy input. This results in significantly lower energy bills and carbon emissions compared to conventional buildings.

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