Passive buildings or energy efficient buildings
During the colder months warming our house becomes an issue so that it feels like home and not like an igloo suitable for penguins. This comfort however should not be achieved without wasting energy, we should, ideally, have an intelligent home able to offer us the greatest degree of comfort and health with the minimum waste of energy, during winter and summer. The Passive House concept, a building standard that emerged in the 90s, is based on the goal of reducing heat losses to an absolute minimum, a building that does not require any other heating system other than post air heating is called a Passive House, no traditional heating (or cooling) systems are needed. Passive building comprises a set of design principles used to attain a level of energy efficiency within a specific comfort level. To that end a passive building is designed and built in accordance with these principles:
- Orientation. Solar gain is managed to exploit the sun’s energy for heating purposes in the heating season and to minimise overheating during the cooling season.
- Insulation. Superinsulation and airtight construction provide unmatched comfort by keeping the warmth in and the cold out.
- Thermal bridging. Employing continuous insulation throughout avoid the thermal bridging responsible for much of the heat loss in conventional buildings.
- Airtight envelope. Sealing the joints between the different building materials is key in avoiding heat loss.
- High performance windows. Typically triple-paned windows and efficient doors ensure a high degree of comfort avoiding heat loss and allowing for active, balanced ventilation.
- Mechanical Ventilation System. Continuous mechanical ventilation of fresh filtered air using some form of balanced heat and moisture recovery ventilation ensures indoor air quality and provides balanced and comfortable temperature.