Passivhaus standards house

Passivhaus Principles for Beginners

A plain English guide on Passivhaus, or Passive House, one of the world’s noted energy performance standards

In the last two decades, you may have come across what is known as the Passivhaus principles.  Also known as Passive House, the Passivhaus standard is the fastest growing energy performance standard in the world.  At present, 30,000 buildings around the world fulfil this criteria.

When did the first Passivhaus standards come into being?

The fathers of Passivhaus are Professors Bo Adamson (Sweden) and Wolfgang Feist (Germany), who created the standard in the early 1990s.  In 1991, a residential development in Darmstadt were the first dwellings to be built to such standards.

The standards can be applied to all building types, whether an industrial estate or a housing estate.  They must adhere to the following principle:

“Build a house that has an excellent thermal performance, exceptional airtightness with mechanical ventilation…”

How do buildings with the Passivhaus standard differ from conventional buildings?

Energy efficiency is the biggest difference.  Fuel bills are considerably lower which not only benefit the environment, but also its occupants.  The imaginative use of shading and, in some cases, the pre-cooling of the supply air, makes conventional heating systems redundant.

Furthermore, this improves the indoor air quality of your home, office, factory, or public building.  Natural cross-ventilation through opening windows also helps.  Due to the way how Passivhaus buildings are designed, there is no need for conventional heaters apart from, perhaps, a heated towel rail.

This diagram seen below shows you how a Passivhaus heating system works in your home.

Passive House Diagram