If you're unfamiliar with the phrase Passivhaus (or Passive House) as it is otherwise known, this term refers to a building standard that is simultaneously comfortable, affordable, ecological and energy efficient.
Passivhaus is not a brand name, but rather a construction concept that provides a high level of occupant comfort whilst using very little energy for heating and cooling. Passive Houses are built with meticulous attention to detail through rigorous design and construction whilst incorporating the following attributes.
The Passive House Standard delivers a maximum level of comfort throughout all four seasons– a factor that is continually re-affirmed by Passive House residents. One way this can be achieved is through the additional of our external roller blinds, (pictured above on England’s first certified Passivhaus) which prevent overheating in the Summer and heat loss in the Winter to provide a passively cooled and naturally lit space.
Furthermore, unlike air-conditioning which temporarily masks the problem, external blinds effectively prevent the issue of overheating on a long-term basis, offering an innovative and sustainable solution in the fight against Climate Change as well as being the perfect accompaniment to a Passive House property.
Passive Houses are acclaimed for their energy efficiency due to their high level of insulation coupled with an airtight design. Another key standard is “thermal bridge free design,” where insulation is applied around the entirety of the building to eliminate cold corners as well as excessive heat losses.
This is another vital principle as it guarantees a high level of quality and comfort whilst preventing damage due to the accumulation of moisture.
By nature, Passive Houses are eco-friendly. They use very little primary energy, leaving sufficient energy resources for all future generations without having an impact on the environment. The additional energy required for their construction is rather insignificant compared to the energy they will save in the long-term.
Passive Houses not only save money in the future, but they are surprisingly affordable in the first place. This is because the investment in higher quality building components required by the Passive House standard is alleviated by the elimination of expensive heating and cooling systems.
Furthermore, with financial support becoming increasingly available in many countries, this makes building a Passive House all the more feasible, which is great news for those wishing to embark on a Passive House project now and in the near future.
Measurements carried out on 114 different Passive House apartments revealed average savings of approximately 90%. This means the Passive House qualifies as a “factor 10 house,” using only one tenth of the energy consumption of the average house.
With the help of a qualified Architect, by combining these individual measures every new building anywhere in the world has the potential to become a certified Passive House. And following an increase in non-residential buildings such as administrative buildings and schools acquiring Passive House certification, education on the design of Passive Houses will continue to grow on a global scale.
If you’ve been inspired by this article and would like to know more about energy-efficient buildings, visit our stand at this year’s Ecobuild where we will be exhibiting from 8th-10th of March. The show, which places an emphasis on sustainability and innovative design, is a great source of inspiration for all your home improvement projects.
Tickets are completely free of charge – click here to register, so it’s a great opportunity to see our superior solar control products in the flesh whilst gaining expert advice direct from the UK's leading external shading specialists on the right sun protection system for your new build or refurbishment project.