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Passive House

Passive houses do not require conventional heat distribution systems. The required heating demand can be covered by a simple and cost efficient ventilation heating system.
Passive houses can utilize internal loads and solar energy effectively in space heating
The architecture of passive houses can vary from conventional to more versatile architecture

Scope
A passive house is an extremely energy-efficient building with year-round comfortable interior conditions. The scope of this guidebook is residential, new buildings. In a Passive House, energy-efficiency is a route to good indoor conditions. The concept bases on low heat losses of a building, without traditional heating systems and without active cooling. Investment cost may be higher with a Passive House compared to a typical house, but running costs are substantially lower. Low running costs make a Passive House cost-efficient on life-cycle perspective.

A passive house has a high level of insulation with minimal thermal bridges, low infiltration, and utilizes passive solar and internal gains and heat recovery from ventilation air to accomplish these characteristics. Renewable energy sources can be used to meet the resulting energy demand.

Definition
A passive house aims at a very low non-renewable energy demand compared to contemporary national standards. This target refers to yearly space heating and cooling energy demand of a passive house of 15 kWh/m2 net floor area, and total primary energy demand for heating, ventilation, electricity for fans and pumps, household appliances, and lighting not exceeding 120 kWh/m2a respectively, regardless of energy source. The Passive House concept is a sound and relatively low-cost method to achieve these energy savings

Technology
All decisions made in the design and construction process are directly related to both life-cycle economic and environmental impacts. A Passive House provides three major benefits for its users

  • High thermal comfort and excellent indoor air quality, independent on outdoor conditions (climate, air pollution, noise)
  • Lower and more stable energy bills
  • Robust, long-living (durable) solutions that require little maintenance.

The construction is based on simple and well performing materials, structures and building services systems that fulfil the requirements set for the building.

The appearance of a Passive House does not differ from a conventional house. Also living in a passive house does not require a special life-style, and buildings are not designed for a certain category of people.