Passivhaus Design Atelier

Why Passivhaus?

Passivhaus technology has quietly revolutionized both the energy use and indoor air quality in building.

Some of the benefits of a Passivhaus are:

 Occupant Benefits:
  • Better quality of indoor air:  Fresh air is delivered continuously, minimizing indoor air pollution. 
  • Comfort of handling: Less technical systems required heating demand can be covered by a simple ventilation heating system.
  • Thermal comfort (winter & summer):  There are no drafts or cold feet in a passivhaus building since it has been carefully insulated, the joints are sealed and the thermal bridges minimized.
 Economic Benefits:
  • Moderate Life Cycle Costs: moderate additional investment costs
  • Reduced maintenance costs: Passivhaus construction pays off itself from the very first day. A Passivhaus building gathers space heating savings at least 70 % a year.
  • Energy performance certificates:  Owner will receive an energy performance certificate to demonstrate the value of his property.
  • Freedom in design: No expensive demands or limits for the designing and architecture. Individual architecture is standard.
  • Less technical systems: Simple intuitive controls make operation easy. 
 Environmental Benefits:
  • Sustainability: According to the EU Commission it costs 50 - 400 % more to produce an extra kilowatt of electricity than to save it.
  • Reduced CO2 emissions: An average household is responsible for 6,000 kg of CO2 emissions a year. Living in a passivhaus the same household emits only 2,100kg of CO2 a year.
  • Noise protection: Thick and well-insulated structures also provides effective sound insulation. Quiet rooms in a noisy environment (traffic, industry, etc.)
  Social Benefits:
  • Domestic creation of value and jobs: Most of the costs will go to local builders. The remaining goes to purchase materials that will spur the fledgling US Passiv Components industry. That creates jobs - it even "pays off".
  • Independence of imports: Most oil reserves of the world are in a few countries. This makes the safe and cheap energy supply sensitive to even small technical or political disturbances.

What is a Passivhaus?

The definition of a passivhaus is based on its extremely low energy need. Passivhaus buildings consume less than a quarter of the energy required for a standard building. They have no separate heating systems apart from heat recovery ventilation. The efficiency is based on well-insulated and air-tight passive building envelope solutions.

The objective of a passivhaus building is to minimize the energy need of buildings economically and produce a good microclimate in buildings. The heat loss of a passivhaus is so small that a normal heat distribution system is unnecessary. The initial investment in a passivhaus may be larger than in a "normal" building, but the operating and life cycle expenses will be remarkably lower than in a "normal" building.

The level of thermal insulation in structures is better than in normal low-energy buildings. The structures are designed and built without any thermal bridges that reduce heat insulation. The building’s outer shell is air-tight and the microclimate is draught-free and evenly warm. The high annual utilization rate of heat recovery in ventilation guarantees only minor heat losses in ventilation. The remaining small energy need for heating can be covered using simple building system solutions.

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