The passive house is an independent standard for sustainable building energy utilization in a structure, which minimizes the environmental impact of the building. It results in low-loss buildings that require little energy to support ventilation, temperature control, or space conditioning. The term passive house was first used in the 1970s and has since become associated with sustainable building and green living. A similar international standard, MINergie-P, is currently being used in Switzerland. One of the most prominent UK retailers of these eco friendly buildings is Sainsbury’s. This article aims to describe what a passive house is and how it can benefit current and future building standards.
A passive house allows users to enjoy both comfortable warmth and coolness from their property and minimizes the amount of electricity they use. It is based on traditional building principles and incorporates smart solutions such as renewable heating and cooling energy, passive cooling, geothermal insulation, and construction of a multi-purpose family room or space, complete with double glazed windows. Many buildings constructed using this innovative building standard can expect to save up to 40% on heating bills and have the opportunity to enjoy an energy efficiency rating of five or six. Such buildings are highly flexible, meaning that they can be configured to meet many different future needs.
A passive house incorporates many environmentally friendly features, which makes it a cost effective solution to the ongoing challenge of how to produce housing more affordable. These include high quality insulation, glazing, and high specs construction techniques, such as floor glazing, sliding glazing, and use of ultra-light materials. As well as using high quality materials and techniques, it is possible to build affordable buildings using materials and techniques which are incredibly durable, such as aluminum or stone. As well as being highly durable, these buildings are highly airtight, making them an environmentally friendly choice for many consumers who are concerned about the impact of building on the environment.
A passive house offers a wide variety of options for those who are interested in either constructing their home entirely on their own or looking for a more affordable option. To begin with, buyers can choose to construct a completely passive house which is also an ecologically friendly alternative to conventional construction methods. This option may not be the most practical option for everyone, but it does allow those with smaller budgets and those who wish to build their home on their own real choice. Furthermore, buyers of a passive house will benefit from the energy savings they make as their building of low-energy houses is effectively achieved through the design and implementation of ventilation and other building standard practices. Many buyers who are looking to reduce their heating and cooling costs will be attracted to the idea of constructing their homes on their own.
Passive houses offer many advantages over conventional high-rise living structures. The most obvious of these is the increased comfort provided by passive houses as they have increased levels of insulation. In addition, passive houses are naturally ventilated and provide increased levels of airflow throughout the rooms. This airflow provides comfortable and pleasant temperatures to residents, in comparison to high-rise buildings which remain cold and dark. Furthermore, passive houses offer greater natural lighting than that provided by high-rise buildings and may even offer a residents’ balcony or space to enjoy the view.
The overall cost of building a passive house is typically cheaper than that of an active one. Additionally, passive houses generally feature a higher level of sustainability compared to other types of construction methods. As these houses are built with materials that are environmentally friendly and can often be recycled, they are significantly better at saving on the overall cost of construction. The fact that passive houses usually feature a lower demand for electricity in comparison to active houses also helps to contribute to their overall energy efficiency.
Of course, building and operating a passive house concept requires the implementation of several energy efficient building and ventilation systems. However, these systems make up for the difference in operating costs as they can generally keep a passive house more comfortable and cooler during the summer months and warmer and cleaner during the winter months. Additionally, by incorporating efficient heating and cooling systems into a passive house design, they can help to reduce or eliminate peak energy use during the summer months. Ultimately, the operation of such a house will be significantly more cost effective, with fewer operating costs, when compared to comparable high-rises.
Passive houses generally have a higher level of energy efficiency as they are built with materials that have a natural capability of insulating properties. In the end, this means that these buildings can provide a comfortable environment for residents while also maintaining excellent air quality. A well-built passive house may have the potential to reduce energy consumption and annual air quality pollution, which in turn, can potentially save millions of dollars in overall health care costs. Overall, passive buildings offer residents a healthy living experience combined with superior energy efficiency and maintenance.