Passive House - When Less Energy is More Comfort
Updated: Sep 13, 2019
As a designer people often ask me: what is a Passive House? The easiest way to explain it is with the three basic concepts: comfort, air quality and low energy usage.
A Passive House allows their users to simply
enjoy a comfortable indoor temperature all year round with very little energy consumption. Other great benefit is the good air quality, the outdoor air gets filtered -from smokes in the city and from dust and pollen in the countryside- before entering the house. The energy needed is so low that Bills get drastically reduced.
Now you might be asking yourself: how can this be DONE and why is not everybody doing this?
Passivhaus is a German standard design to ensure efficiency. First, we design the shape of your building to maximise the benefit from the passive solar gain.
Then we carefully choose the insulation, minimise the thermal bridges, add high levels of airtightness, and a mechanical ventilation with heat recovery and a lot more. Back when we were working in Rowhook, it was a very hot summer day. We were boiling in the builder’s cabin, everyone was sweating, the house was not finished yet, but all the builders said: “Let’s go into the house, it’s cooler there!”
Our client was not fully convinced about the fact that they would not need heating, so they did ask for it to be installed, “just in case”. After two winters, I asked the clients about the under-floor heating, and they responded, “We have not used it, the house has stayed warm all winter.”
I asked the clients about the under-floor heating, and they responded, “We have not used it, the house has stayed warm all winter.”
Since a passive house uses as an average a 70% less energy than a normal house, by constructing and living in a Passive House, you are helping the environment.
A passive house gives you more comfort with less energy and reduces the ecological footprint.
Why aren’t more people doing it?
Construction is a slow industry to embrace change, as it very much relies on open-minded and forward-thinking people, ready to live in a passive building and enjoy all the benefits. Nevertheless, clients are more and more aware about what they want, and they are demanding better homes, every year more passive homes are getting build around the world.