Passive Houses are energy-efficient structures that provide a high degree of comfort while using very little energy for heating and cooling. In a few words, I would define Passive Dwellings as “very energy efficient, almost airtight houses.” The homes are so energy efficient that they may cut heating expenses by up to 90%.
How does it help Climate Change?
A passive house is by definition a great choice for building a house for environmentally-conscious people. By simply reducing monthly costs, it reduces the carbon emissions which is the one goal the entire planet is trying to achieve one way or another. Passive houses can help achieve this target, especially if high regulatory bodies such as EU commission will push towards the implementation of Passive Houses as “the new normal”.
In the environment where they are built, good passive design guarantees that the inhabitants stay thermally comfortable with little supplementary heating or cooling.
Each temperate zone has its unique set of climatic features that influence the best design aims and reactions. Understanding the concepts of thermal comfort and identifying your own climatic zone can help you make educated design decisions for your house.
Here are 4 ways A passive house can help you reduce your carbon footprint:
Orientation and shading
The way you put your home on its location to take advantage of climatic elements like sun and cooling breezes is referred to as orientation. In all except tropical regions, for example, living rooms should face north, or as close to north as feasible, providing maximum solar exposure and simple summer shading of walls and windows. The demand for auxiliary heating and cooling is reduced, and sunlight access to panels for solar photovoltaics and hot water is improved. As a result, your house is more comfortable to live in and less expensive to run. It takes into account the sun’s movement in the summer and winter, as well as the direction and kind of winds.
Solar heating and passive cooling
The most cost-effective approach to heat your home is through passive solar heating. Simply put, passive solar heating design keeps summer sun out and allows winter sun in, while ensuring that the building envelope retains that heat inside in the winter and enables any built-up heat to leave in the summer. Orientation, thermal mass, sealing, and other factors all play a role in the construction of a passive solar-heated home. Because most climates need both passive heating and cooling, reading this page in conjunction with Design for climate (to establish your climatic zone) and Passive cooling is recommended.
In areas where air conditioners are utilized, air leakage accounts for 15–25 percent of winter heat loss in buildings and can contribute to substantial loss of ‘coolth.’ One of the easiest modifications you can make to improve your comfort while lowering your energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions is to seal your home against air leaks. With the exception of naturally ventilated dwellings in the tropics, the more advantageous sealing is the more severe your climate.
Because sealing your house and raising insulation levels may lead to condensation and poor indoor air quality, this article describes how condensation works, which climates are most susceptible to it, and how you can mitigate its effects.
Glazing and Skylights
Glazed windows and doors let in light and fresh air while also providing vistas that connect indoor and outdoor living areas. They may, however, be a significant source of unwanted heat gain in the summer and heat loss in the winter. Glazing may lose up to 40% of a home’s heating energy while gaining up to 87 percent of its heat. The proper glazing solutions for your orientation and climate, as well as the size and position of window openings in your design, can help to solve many of these thermal performance issues. Use the Window Energy Rating Scheme (WERS), which ranks different window products based on their energy and energy-related performance.