10 Reasons Why a Passive House is a Good Idea

Reduce Carbon Emissions

For years, it’s been gaining traction, aided by large financial backing and government propaganda (cross out) promotion. It makes no difference whether you believe in global warming or believe that climate change is influenced by humans (carbon emissions). A great juggernaut, a new religion, has begun to move, and it will take something big to reverse its speed. When the G8 convened in 2009 to discuss global emission reductions, they established a goal of cutting emissions by 80% by 2050. This was rejected by India and China because it would stifle their economic growth. Buildings can account for up to 48 percent of annual greenhouse gas emissions, or over half of total emissions, according to the US Energy Information Administration. Most people see cars on the road and factories spewing smoke, but they don’t realize that what they do at home has a huge influence; yet, it does.

High Energy-Saving

What is the solution to the dilemma we have here (at least in the United Kingdom and Ireland)? Building code standards must alter in order to force change. With the previously specified aim of an 80 percent decrease in emissions, 48 percent of which is caused by property: A major revamp of new building regulation energy saving standards will be the natural next step. The institute is perfectly placed on the crest of a property conservation wave that might take the world by storm, and the government requires Passivhaus standards to meet their targets. This tendency has already begun to shift, as evidenced by the graph below.

Upgrades will be made to existing properties to make them more energy efficient.

We could see a new trend in an enlightened public improving the energy efficiency of their homes as the government promotes energy efficient dwellings and educates the people on the facts, coupled with new builds being obliged to conform to new energy efficiency requirements. This, I believe, has a two-fold effect. To begin with, social psychology toward becoming green and doing their part will aid in the trend’s momentum. Second, in my opinion, requiring new construction to adhere to tight energy efficiency criteria will result in fewer residences being sold on the market. If these dwellings aren’t too expensive when compared to a house that hasn’t been influenced by the Passivhaus standard, it’s apparent that the energy efficient house will be the preferred option for buyers. As a result, in order to compete with the energy-efficient homes on the market, sellers may feel pressured to increase their property’s efficiency.

Almost Off-the-Grid

Saving up to 90% on energy means that most of the energy needed to run the appliances in the house can be provided by off-grid power, such as solar panels or wind turbines on the property. I’m sure this will pique the interest of the apocalyptic-minded among us! On a more serious note, the Passivhaus owner will be dependent on and utilizing significantly fewer fossil fuels such as natural gas, oil, coal, and nuclear power due to the reduction in energy usage combined with the utilization of renewable energy sources.

It helps you save money

It does in the long run, after all! The initial expenditure will be substantial, but it’s simply a matter of simple math: (Initial outlay for property upgrades / monthly energy savings = Time it will take for investment to pay for itself). As I indicated at the outset, it is possible to reduce one’s energy bill by 90%. According to one website, Passivhaus designs may reduce a €1500 annual energy expenditure to €100, a savings of more than 90%. This will appeal to individuals who plan on staying in their current home for a long time, or who believe their home will be more attractive upon sale, allowing them to recoup their investment in the sale price.

Improved Air Quality

When discussing how Passive Houses prevent air leakage, people frequently comment on how important it is to have a good ventilation system in order to breathe. They assume the air quality is lower than in a typical home, however this is not the case. The air that is ventilated into the home is filtered and efficiently warmed, with the old air being discharged out, thanks to the smart air circulation system. The smart ventilation system keeps the humidity in the house between 30 and 60 percent, making it seem fresh and clean instead of stale and sticky. A heat recovery ventilator, as shown in the diagram below, is used to ventilate, warm, and circulate the air.

Silence

Warmth is kept in while sound is kept out. Because of the strong insulation on the walls and the high-performance triple-glazed windows, you can create noise without bothering your neighbors, and they would have to do something remarkable to bother you. Passive Houses could be a viable alternative to houses constructed from aircraft parts.

Housing that is comfortable

Isn’t it what we all want? A home that is comfortable, peaceful, and enjoyable to be in? That is precisely what the Passivhaus claims to be. The major emphasis of the Passivhaus concept of comfort is ‘thermal comfort,’ however the Passivhaus institution is so concerned with comfort that they have devised a Fangers equation that considers air temperature, temperature of surrounding objects (radiant temperature), air speed, and air humidity.

Quality that lasts

The first Passivhaus was constructed in 1990 and is still in excellent condition. The best quality materials must be utilized to achieve the demanding quality criteria that a house must comply to in order to acquire a certificate from the Passivhaus Institute, and it is through these materials that durability is created. If you buy quality, you’ll only have to buy it once; if you buy cheap, you’ll have to buy it twice or three times.

Cost

Last but not least, I anticipate a decrease in the cost of Passive Houses. A Passivhaus equivalent currently costs around $190 per square foot (as of 2009), compared to $85 to $120 for most dwellings. According to economic theory, the more of anything is produced, the lower the price becomes due to economies of scale and increasing competition. I’m hoping that as the number of Passivhaus’s rises, so will the cost of the materials used, making Passivhaus practices a viable option for both homeowners and property developers in the future.

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