Passive Housing Facts

Passionate about Passive Houses

We're passionate about building passive housing.  The term passive house (Passivhaus in German) refers to the rigorous voluntary Passivhaus standard for energy efficiency in buildings.

The first Passivhaus buildings - ultra low energy buildings requiring little energy for space heating or cooling - were built in Germany in 1990 and the Passivhaus-Institut was set up by Dr Wolfgang Feist in 1996 to promote and control the standard.  Since then, around 15,000 passive houses have been built around the world, mostly in German-speaking countries.

To meet the passive house standard, buildings should have:

  • an annual heating demand of not more than 15kWh/m2 per year (4,746 btu/ft2 per year) in heating and 15kWh/m2 per year cooling energy or a peak heat load of 10W/m2.
  • a total primary energy consumption of not more than 120kWh/m2 per year (3.79 x 104btu/ft2 per year).
  • An air leakage of not more 0.6 times the house volume per hour (n50≤0.6/hour) at 50 Pa (N/m2)

It is also recommended that the specific heat load for the heating source at design temperature is less than 10W/m² (3.17 btu/ft2 per hour).

Passive housing does not use conventional heating.  A passive house typically costs slightly more to construct than conventional buildings, but energy costs can be cut by up to 90%.

To meet strict passive house regulations the windows and doors must be top of their class in energy saving which is why we recommend the Austrian window manufacturer, Gaulhofer.  The Gaulhofer range is extensive and features frameless designs as well as powder coated aluminum shells and boasts the only UPVC windows that achieve a passive house qualified Uw value.

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