Passivhaus - why use it?

Passivhaus buildings achieve a 75% reduction in space heating requirements, compared to standard practice for UK new build. The Passivhaus standard therefore gives a robust method to help the industry achieve the 80% carbon reductions that are set as a legislative target for the UK Government. Passivhaus also applies to retrofit projects, achieving similar savings in space heating requirements.

Evidence and feedback to date shows that Passivhaus buildings are performing to standard, which is crucial, given that the discrepancy between design aspiration and as-built performance for many new buildings in the UK can be as much as 50-100%. (Passivhaus Trust)

But there are reasons to build a Passivhaus that go beyond simply energy efficiency:

  • Low running costs to help prevent future fuel poverty - particularly in social housing

  • Easy to live in with simple control systems - no complicated technology or controls

  • Thermally comfortable, with no draughts and an even temperature distribution - this is one of the key criterion in the Passivhaus standard and is why triple glazing is used

  • Good indoor air quality provided by the mechanical ventilation system - this system utilises a heat recovery unit with efficiencies in excess of 80% and so the heat is reused in the building but with a continuously replenishing fresh air supply

  • Excellent acoustic performance provided by a combination of very well insulated walls, airtightness and triple glazed windows - keeping out that irritating traffic noise or the barking dog next door!

Passipedia has a fantastic series of webpages on the Basics of Passivhaus and the Passivhaus Trust has published a series of guides for people considering the Passivhaus standards, both of which can offer more in depth information, or alternatively give us a call!