8th December 2017 / posted by John
What are the benefits of a PassivHaus?
Have you considered a Passive House Self-build project?
A growing number of self-builders are looking to improve the green credentials of their homes, with more enquiries for Passivhaus or 'Passive House' increasing. As the fastest growing energy performance standard in the world, Passive House is an approach which results in exceptional standards of insulation and air tightness.
Low Carbon Environmental Design
Much of our conventional traditional housing in the UK is very poorly designed in terms of energy conservation and ecological awareness. Most houses are poorly insulated and consume unnecessarily high levels of energy (usually from non-renewable sources) and at the same time produce high levels of waste and pollution. Such energy consumption occurs initially when the building is constructed, continues throughout its life time (through the fossil fuel resource demands of use, repairs and renewals) and extends beyond its removal because its demolition wastes then have to be accommodated elsewhere – this is not the case with Passivhaus.
Principles of Design and Construction
The Principle aims of a Passivhaus are:
- High Levels of Insulation
- Minimizing thermal bridging
- Excellent Airtightness
- Natural Lighting
- Passive Solar Gain
- Use of Recycled Materials
The Benefits of Passive House
Passive House standard is a successful European ultra-low energy standard for buildings. Passive House buildings use only a fraction of the energy for heating (90% less) compared with houses built to the standards required by current building regulations, and deliver low carbon solutions without needing excessive renewable energy. Where Passive House differs from UK building regulations and CSH is the requirement for an absolute level of energy consumption instead of improvement over a more basic specification.
The Passive House approach has three main strands:
- Minimise heat loss – compact built form, super insulation and triple glazing.
- Minimise ventilation heat loss – airtight construction and heat recovery ventilation.
- Optimise solar gain - for winter heat.
These factors combine to deliver a heating demand that can be met with a minimal heating system, meaning a much lower footprint and bills.
There will be a full feature article on the Oakwrights / Ecoarc Highly Commended Passivhaus project in the February Issue of Homebuilding & Renovating Magazine. Available in all good newsagents in the final week of December 2017.