The German system, ‘PASSIVHAUS’ – ‘Passive House’ in English, is a method of creating buildings with high levels of comfort and indoor air quality and with very low energy use.
Passivhaus embodies high levels of insulation to the external envelope along with high quality windows, virtually eliminates thermal bridging and air leakage and in most climates allows the building to be heated & cooled with only the fresh air that constantly circulates throughout the interior.
It is based on the science rather than the rules of thumb of solar passive design and does not require the management of heat flows and thermal mass that form the greater part of that design concept.
PASSIVHAUS has five basic elements that enable the savings to be achieved:
- High levels of insulation including excellent quality windows & doors;
- The elimination of thermal bridges that allow heat to pass through the building envelope – in either direction;
- Capturing solar gain – including heat gained from appliances and occupants;
- Airtightness – to eliminate heat loss & gain through the fabric of the building envelope;
- Heat recovery within the fresh air ventilation unit.
You might have heard ‘Passivhaus’ mentioned on the popular English TV series ‘GRAND DESIGNS’ introduced by Kevin McCloud.
If you are interested in low energy housing come along & meet up with likeminded people at the ‘PASSIVHAUS MEETUP’ at the BAYSWATER HOTEL on the last Tuesday of the month.
Come and join me, ROGER JOYNER, for information and discussion on the techniques and benefits of Passivhaus in Perth and WA.