Passive house design
The Passive house idea was developed in the early 1990’s in Germany with the aim of reducing energy demand for heating supply drastically while providing comfortable controlled living environments for better health and wellbeing.
Reducing CO2 emissions over the lifespan of a building’s energy consumption make it a very suitable model for tackling climate change.
The building concept takes a ‘fabric first’ approach, i.e. ensuring a highly insulated and airtight structure that eliminates cold bridging.
This minimises energy use at source while providing high levels of comfort. Choosing the most efficient forms of renewables specific to each project should be considered to maximize the energy balance even further.
With its holistic approach the concept looks at far ranging factors like building orientation, envelope/floor ratio, solar gains and losses among many other factors enabling to predict future energy consumption for heating and electrical consumption pretty accurately.
Projects are modeled in the Passivhaus Planning Package (PHPP) as a wide ranging design tool to improve and optimise the building and ideally serve as a route to full certification.
The modeling should take place at an early stage to optimize a building prior to applying for planning when more flexibility might be available.
The concept can be applied for new buildings as well as for retrofit projects and is not bound to any specific style or construction method.
As it is a very receptive tool optimizations are made possible within simple changes.
This will allow for well considered advice, improved performance and potential cost savings.
We use it for pre-planning optimisation to help communicate better results.