What is Passivhaus ?
Passivhaus is a design standard widely recognised as the 'gold standard' for low energy design.
Devised in the 1980's by German building physicists, it is a thorough and rigorous approach, constantly tested and refined by the design community who use it, to...
minimise energy use + maximise comfort by:
orientation of the building on the site
insulation to very high standards
airtightness too extremely high standards
use of sophisticated software to test the design
Most Passivhaus designs - which can, despite the name, apply to any type of building - involve the use of mechanical ventilation with heat recovery [MVHR].
Similarly, most buildings will require triple-glazed windows and doors to achieve the standard, which reduces energy consumption to approximately 10% of that typically required by existing buildings.
Why do Passivhaus ?
Most importantly, the standard aims to reduce CO2 emissions to the level required to address man-made climate change.
However, the standard is also human-centred, based on the need to achieve draught-free buildings with excellent air quality - comfort ventilation.
Inevitably, the capital costs of this approach are a little higher than 'standard' [minimum] construction. Running costs are much lower, and 'cost in use' calculations prove the financial benefit, on top of the human and environmental.
There is a massive amount of information online. e.g:
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