An Teach Glas

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High Performance Zero Carbon Passive House

Passive House

Passive House is now a standard as developed by the “Passivhaus Institut” in Darmstadt, Germany. There are numerous benefits to building to passive house standard. On the technical side the Passivhaus standards is defined as:

  • the total energy demand for space heating and cooling is less than 15 kWh/sqm/yr treated floor area
  • the total primary energy use for all appliances, domestic hot water and space heating and cooling is less than 120 kWh/sqm/yr

Once this level of heating is required, then a central heating system is not required, and the cost of the additional insulation can be recouped.

Passiv Haus Institut

To minimise the energy needs of the house, glazing to the south has to be maximised while glazing to the north should be minimised. Bathrooms and service rooms should be on the north so that warm air is drawn from the warm south side of the house by the extraction systems. An open plan is preferential to allow an even distribution of heat. A certain amount of shading will be required on south glazing to avoid overheating at the height of summer.

In terms of construction, two concepts become very important; air tightness and cold-bridging. These are not new terms, but they do require a high level of attention to detail and an architect and builder who knows the importance of these requirements.

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