is an extremely thermally efficient home that has to meet rigorous measures of airtightness and air quality, known as the Passivhaus Standard. This is designed to ensure reduced energy use and carbon emissions from buildings. There are a number of benefits to building to the Passivhaus Standard...
As the buildings are so well insulated, the actual heating and cooling requirements are minimal.
High level of comfort
As the internal temperature is so regulated during both warm and cold months, this means that temperature levels remain comfortable throughout the year. The silent ventilation system provides good indoor air quality without any unpleasant draughts.
By definition, a Passivhaus requires less energy to run, reducing both carbon emissions and lifetime energy usage.
As there is no requirement for radiators or other heating systems, the running costs for the building are a lot less than an equivalent building built to current building regulations. Although a Passivhaus may cost more up front, due to the expense of building to the required standard (including better windows, thicker insulation and a ventilation system), some of these costs are offset by the lack of requirement for an expensive heating or cooling system.
The standards require a high level of quality in building materials and construction methods to achieve the levels of airtightness and insulation required. This ensures that what is designed is built, and what is built performs as it was designed.
Many different ways to meet the criteria
Using different materials and different styles results in a variety of buildings. Although it was originally developed for houses, the principles behind the Passivhaus Standard can be used on various types of buildings, from houses, schools, and offices. It can also be adopted in a range of climates, from Central Europe where it originated, to South America, Australia, and even on a research station in the Antarctic.
Meets (and exceeds) policy requirements
The standards required for Passivhaus perform better than current Building Regulations in England, Scotland and Wales.