The Passive House Standard
5 Essentials To Energy Efficiency
The Passive House Standard is an increasingly used approach to ensure actual energy efficiency in buildings. It originated in Germany, Passivhaus, and is the leading strategy in its field. By following the Passive House Standard, builders can label their properties as certified in energy efficiency.
The certification process requires builders to follow five essential specifications:
1. Triple-glazed windows – Passive houses must have extremely insulated glazing with a u-value of less than 0.80 W/m2K. This means that the heat loss is lower than standard glazing. A non-passive property can have glazing with a u-value up to 2.0 W/m2K.
2. Thermal insulation – Passive houses have incredibly thick walls using high-grade insulation that achieves a high R-value rating. High R-value insulation prevents heat from leaking out of the property. The requirement is for insulation to have a rating of between 40 and 60 for walls and 50 and 90 for roofs.
3. Ventilation – Using heat recovery ventilation allows properties to maintain clean and fresh air circulation at a comfortable room temperature level. In addition, the heat recovery system can reduce the need for other heating systems as it utilises the heat captured by the sun and people throughout the day.
4. Airtight – Passive houses have an outer shell that prevents heat loss. It is monitored through the properties air change rate using the blower door test, which should be below 0.6/hour than the volume of the property. A build-up of condensation caused by inadequate airtightness can cause the weakening of a structure.
5. Reduce thermal bridging – By minimising thermal bridging, you can reduce the opportunity for heat to be lost. An example of this would be ensuring no gaps between insulation boards will prevent heat transfer and leakages.
Buildings that possess a Passive House Certificate to demonstrate that they are energy-efficient, comfortable, and high quality are enticing to potential homeowners. It ensures a reduction in their energy bills and carbon emissions.