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Integrated ventilation, space heating, and hot water generation device. (
Passive houses can bring substantial savings in a buildings running costs, depending on the energy price and energy savings achieved with passive house technologies. In the example, energy costs are anticipated to increase by 3 or 6 % a year.
© Passivhaus Institut
Darmstadt Passive houses aim at minimum life-cycle costs by energy conservation technologies and simple building services’ systems.

Living quality
If the Passive House concept is fully utilized, the benefits of energy-efficiency will benefit both building users and owners. Proper design and high quality construction includes cost-saving possibilities that cover the additional costs of energy-efficient building envelope almost entirely. As the energy demand is low, it enables reduction of traditional heating systems’ installation and reduces power demand and thus the capacity of heat generation system. Prefabrication and proper total commissioning procedures help for achieving the desired quality for the building. All these factors also contribute to the life-cycle cost reduction.

The indoor environment in a passive house is easy to control and maintain. Due to the very low heating power demand, traditional heat distribution systems become obsolete. Even in the Northern cold climate, traditional heat distribution systems become unnecessary. No radiators are needed in front of windows to compensate the cold draft caused by cool window surfaces. Simple and more economical systems like ventilation heating can be applied.

As the energy consumption is low, a Passive House is less sensitive to energy prices. Cost efficiency is a natural target of the design and construction, as high comfort and indoor air quality in a Passive House contribute to quality of life. The reduction of heating energy consumption by simple and cost-efficient measures contributes to overall performance and properties of a house.

For a housing provider a passive house serves for improved return and reduced running costs. Low energy consumption and power demand reduce energy and connection costs. Simple building service's systems reduce maintenance costs. Low heating power demand requires only minimum heating systems, which also reduces the investment to systems. If the construction process is properly managed, the total construction costs may be equal compared to typical construction.

It is clear that improving energy-efficiency of a building requires more effort in design of the building, and also in construction of the building envelope. If the energy-efficiency is improved by simple and low-cost measures, it brings along important consequences. Power demand for heating and electrical energy, service power demand, connection capacity, utility costs, heat exchangers and heating equipment can be reduced.

A Passive House may require larger extra investments than a typical energy-efficient building. However, extra costs of energy efficiency are difficult to be explicitly shown. The major influence on the investment comes from the management of the whole process. Investment in the project management and early design phase incurs cost savings that together with energy-efficiency cover the costs of super-insulation, high performance windows, improved air tightness etc. Typically the payback period of extra investments in Passive House technology is less than 10 years. The strategy of energy efficiency of a passive house bases on minimizing the energy losses, before applying renewable energy sources. This is a rather clear approach for a cost-efficient and energy efficient housing.