The fundamentals of Passive House design and construction deliver “high performance buildings” in terms of energy efficiency, comfort, healthy indoor air quality, durability, and lower cost of maintenance. The ways in which different groups of stakeholders’ experience and benefit from those performance factors will vary based on the needs, priorities, and preferences of the stakeholders. Scroll down to learn about whether and how Passive House makes sense for you.
Being inside a Passive House is different
- Those who live and/or work in Passive House buildings will directly experience the comfort and health benefits associated with airtight construction, strategic insulation, and continuous filtered fresh air.
- The dramatic (up to 95%) reduction of unplanned airborne allergens and pollutants is likely to be the most impactful difference in terms of physical health, particularly for those with respiratory issues.
- No dust motes in the sunbeams coming through windows and the infrequent dusting required are clear indications that occupants are breathing far cleaner air — and studies show that insufficient fresh air diminishes alertness and cognition.
- The consistent desired temperatures throughout, upstairs and down, and across all seasons, along with the suppression of outside noise have been described as delivering an “all-encompassing” comfort and providing a “sense of well-being”.
Beyond the experience — Passive House performance delivers several other advantages over conventional design and construction.
- Extreme Energy Efficiency:
- Up to 90% reduction in energy needed for heating and cooling
- Up to 70% reduction in overall operational energy
- Resilience from Renewables and Energy Storage:
- A Passive House can achieve Net Zero Energy with less than half the renewables
- Battery storage for electric energy will have double the impact, lasting twice as long
- The building itself functions as a thermal battery and makes Passive House buildings much slower to lose their desired temperature
- Increased Durability: due to airtightness and better insulated enclosure:
- Air contains water vapor (humidity) and that vapor can turn to condensation on nearby surfaces when it changes temperature — the airtightness of PH construction dramatically reduces the amount of air passing through the structure and lowers the risk of condensation, and the resulting rot or mold
- The strategic insulation of Passive House nearly eliminates uneven temperatures within the enclosure and further reduces the risk of condensation
- Reduced Maintenance:
- The much lower demand for heating and/or cooling enables smaller “right-sized” mechanical systems that require less expensive maintenance
- The lower demand is also more consistent, allowing the mechanical systems to operate smoothly, with less stress and fewer repairs needed
- Environmental Responsibility: Passive House design and construction provide an epic win/win/win scenario.
- It is a personal win that touches every level of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs from basic needs to Self-Actualization
- It is a win for owners and occupants of Passive House buildings — comfort, health, and peace of mind
- It is a critical part of, not only a win, but a stop and reversal of losses, for the planet and all of our fellow occupants
Passive House California
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