What is a Passive House?
Passive Houses are a construction concept that aims to create pleasant, ecologically friendly, and economical houses and structures. It is one of the world’s top energy efficiency standards. Passive Houses are designed to give high levels of occupant comfort while using very little energy for heating and cooling.
They are constructed with painstaking attention to detail and strict design and construction standards defined by the Passivhaus Institute in Germany and may be certified through a stringent quality certification procedure.
The high levels of comfort and energy savings associated with the Passivhaus Standard are attained through independent quality testing, according to over two decades of experience. All Passivhaus buildings must pass a stringent compliance check. Specific components, designers/consultants, and tradespeople can all be certified.
Air quality and comfort are the two pillars that define a Passive House: “A Passivhaus is a building in which thermal comfort can be achieved solely by post-heating or post-cooling the fresh air flow required for a good indoor air quality, without the need for additional recirculation of air.” – Passivhaus Institut (PHI)
Passivhaus certification is also available for projects that use extremely little energy. EnerPHit is a relatively lenient requirement for retrofit projects where fulfilling the Passivhaus standard is impossible due to existing architecture or conservation concerns. External constraints should not keep anyone from meeting required standards when building a passive house.
Passivhaus buildings achieve a 75% reduction in space heating requirements, compared to standard practice for UK new build. The Passivhaus standard, therefore, gives a robust method to help the industry achieve the 80% carbon reductions that are set as a legislative target for the UK Government. Passivhaus also applies to retrofit projects, achieving similar savings in space heating requirements.
Evidence and feedback to date show that Passivhaus buildings are performing to standard, which is crucial, given that the discrepancy between design aspiration and as-built performance for many new buildings in the UK can be as much as 50-100%.