Passivhaus is an energy performance standard that is fast growing in popularity and usage worldwide. Its focus is to reduce the need for heating and cooling systems within buildings, thereby lowering its energy consumption whilst also creating good indoor clean air. The method this is achieved through is simple: thorough insulation and an airtight building.
The Passivhaus standard was developed in Germany in the 1990’s with the first buildings achieving it being built in Darmstadt in 1991. It can be used in residential builds, as well as commercial and industrial. In builds that are completed to the Passivhaus standard, there is no longer any requirement for a traditional central heating system.
The building is also able to remain cool in the same way. In addition to this, excellent air quality is achieved by reducing air infiltration rates. Passivhaus is equally as effective in both warm and cool climates.
Passivhaus and Glazing
In order to achieve the Passivhaus standard, it is vital that all doors and windows are correctly fitted to stop any draughts. The windows are triple glazed with a U value of 0.79. The frames are thermally broken as opposed to solid wood and the insulation prevents cold getting into the house. The external edges of the frame are covered in insulation and covered with external cladding, creating a clean and simple finish. Internally the windows are usually finished with timber and have a high standard of Italian fittings. Due to the high levels of insulation the windows only open internally.
In addition, buildings that achieve the Passivhaus standard can reduce their carbon emissions by up to 80% and energy consumption by up to 85%. This all means that energy bills can be significantly lowered when the Passivhaus standard is achieved.