What is a Passive House
Passive House is a rating tool developed in Germany in 1992. It’s a world standard, to design energy efficient, comfortable, and healthy homes. Passive House is a wonderful tool to make an Architecturally Designed homes more efficient and aligns with the Design Philosophy of Smart Living Spaces perfectly.
With rising energy costs, healthy homes are becoming more desirable . This tool now allows me to design smarter for better homes.
There are five basic Passive House Principals, namely Airtightness, Ventilation, Quality Thermal Insulation, No Thermal Breaks and Quality Windows. Any project needs to meet specific performance criteria using these five principals, based on location, design detail and orientation of each specific project.
What does that mean for you?
We have historically designed and built in NZ to theoretical approaches which have resulted in some very poor performing homes. I am certain you will have lived in at least one of these in your lifetime. The Passive House process allows us to understand where a home’s performance needs adaption and attention at the design stage. The performance can be designed for and predicted and avoids costly and ineffective band aid solutions after the construction stage to compensate for unpredictable and undesirable internal environments.
This essentially allows you to plug the energy leaks of your new home at design stage, so you don’t to pay for them to be constructed and also pay to compensate for them while you live in your new home.
What this means for you, is that you get a home designed and built with set performance criteria. The process of Passive House is such that that performance is tested along the way, to ensure that the finished result matches the design intent.
Once your project has met or exceeded the performance criteria, then your house can be certified as recognition of the world standard you have achieved. This gives future occupants or buyers much more assurance.
Why does Passive House matter?
Our typical New Zealand house relies currently on open windows for ventilation and energy using devices to reduce the internal air temperature during summer or raise air temperature in winter. Our internal environments are expensive and hard to control and often end up with unhealthy conditions.
A Passive house is designed to stay between 18 and 22 degrees all year round, all the time with fresh air supply that is low in humidity. This criterion is coupled with strict energy targets for electricity use in heating and cooling.
This means that you save on energy, as the built design does the work to keep your interior environment dry, comfortable and healthy. A ventilation system can operate at predicable efficiency within an airtight, well insulated envelope, ensuring mould free homes that are constantly comfortable and healthy. That means you can breathe well, live well, and save on rising energy costs.
The next step
You can book a complimentary Chat with me, Sharon, Certified Passive House Designer, to talk about your project.
You can download Your Journey Guide, as visual guide to the Architectural, Homestar and Passive House Journey.