What is a passive house?
It is energetically efficient and qualitative house the energy demand of which is very low. A passive house uses not more than 15 KWh /sq.m of energy per year, consumes a quarter or even less energy a standard house requires, and is distinguished by a particularly qualitative microclimate. Efficiency of a passive house is basically grounded by effective heat insulation and increased tightness of building envelopes.
The main purpose of a passive and energetically efficient house is to reduce energy demand and create a qualitative environment inside the building.
Statistically, 90 percent of our time we spend in various premises – at home, at work, visiting friends, at shops and etc. Therefore, qualitative buildings are especially important. There is healthier and more comfortable environment in premises of energetically efficient houses.
We manufacture SIP panels, constantly create and try new building systems that are the most suitable to a passive house.
Experienced specialists and architects consult and constantly look for the best solutions.
- Thermal comfort (also in summer):Your feet will no longer suffer from cold, as the energetically efficient house is thoroughly insulated, its constructional elements and connections are tight, and thermal bridges minimized.
- Better internal air quality:fresh air is constantly supplied and filtered. Therefore, external negative impact is reduced maximally.
- Easier maintenance:less technical devices and systems: unnecessary heating system is compensated by simple ventilation ductwork system. Less maintenance work and costs.
- Low operational costs:maintenance of this type of a house does not require additional investment.
- Low residential costs:Energetically efficient constructions let you feel the real economic benefit from the very first day. A passive house saves at least 75 percent of energy required for heating per year.
- Stable value:the selling price of an energetically efficient house is 30 percent higher than that of a usual house.
- Design freedom:there are no expensive additional requirements or restrictions for the architectural part of the building.
- Less technical equipment:in a passive house there is no separate heating system. The necessary amount of heat is supplied by ventilation system with especially effective heat exchanger.
- New job vacancies are created, Gross Domestic Product is increased: when implementing projects of energetically efficient houses, 75 percent of the whole increased construction amount goes to local construction companies, and 25 percent goes mostly to local building material manufacturers. New job vacancies in construction will encourage development in other fields.
- Less dependence from the imported energy resources:construction of energetically efficient houses will allow to reduce usage of energy resources and reduce dependence from external raw material suppliers.
- Regular benefits:according to the data provided by the EU Council, production of a new electricity kilowatt-hour costs from 50 up to 400 percent more than using it economically and efficiently.
- CO2 pollution reduction:a medium-sized dwelling house emits up to 6,000 kg of CO2 to the atmosphere per year. Living in the same-sized passive house, atmospheric pollution decreases up to 2,100 kg of CO2 per year.
- Noise reduction:thicker and well-insulated building envelopes ensure better protection against external noise, and this means quieter rooms and better rest near the noise zones (traffic, children playgrounds, stadiums, industry and etc.)
The concern regarding building energy efficiency and energy consumption in buildings arose in 1973 during the energy crisis. At that time the first audits of building energy efficiency were performed. Global warming and rapid climate change later stimulated the movement of building energy efficiency.
Bo Adamson, the Professor of Lund University (Sweden), and Wolfgang Feist, the scientist of the German Institute of Housing and the Environment, were the first ones to talk about the standard of a passive house in 1988. On their initiative the first passive house was built in 1990, in Darmstadt (Germany). In 1996 Wolfgang Feist established the Passive House Institute (Passivhaus-Institut). About 25000 passive houses were built in Europe during the first 20 years. Mostly – in Germany and Austria. In 1996 Wolfgang Feist`s working group created a special tool for passive house builders – the Passive House Planning Package (PassivhausPlaner, PHPP). This project was commercialized by the funds of the European Union, according to CEPHEUS program. In 2000-2001 the passive house conception was approved by the first five EU countries.
In the United States of America, the first passive house was built in 2003, in the State of Illinois (Urbana). Camp Waldsee (near Bemidji, Minnesota) became the first certified passive house in the USA. It was built in 2006.
The first standardized prefabricated house was built in 2005, in Ireland. It was built by the company Scandinavian Homes.
9 necessary conditions for installation of a passive house:
- The house must be correctly oriented towards the sun, so that it would be enough of warmth in winter and not too much of heat in summer.
- Simple layout of the house. As small exterior wall surface area as possible.
- The majority of windows must be installed on the southern side of the house, other windows – on the western and the eastern sides. Practically no windows on the northern side.
- Inert materials that absorb warmth and give it back slowly must be used in the building interior.
- Appropriate thermal resistance. Thermal conductivity coefficient of partitioning constructions cannot exceed 0,15 W/(m²K), and what concerns individual residential houses – up to 0,10 W/(m²K).
- Forced ventilation with ductwork system. Guaranteed quantity of natural infiltration to the building. It must be verified by pressure test.
- Heating system can be various: heat pumps, geothermal heating, furnaces.
- Energy-saving appliances (refrigerator, washing machine and etc.) are used.
9. Purposeful and energy-saving lightning. For lightning LED lamps are used. They are directed only to the surfaces used.
- Since 2014 new buildings or their parts must comply with the requirements for the class C buildings;
- Since 2014 new buildings or their parts must comply with the requirements for the class B buildings;
- Since 2016 new buildings or their parts must comply with the requirements for the class A buildings;
- Since 2018 new buildings or their parts must comply with the requirements for the class A+ buildings;
- Since 2021 new buildings or their parts must comply with the requirements for the class A++ buildings.