We at 5th element management are passionate about Passive House Standard?
Sustainable Design is a holistic approach and it takes individual needs of the owner, orientation and resources of the property, future function and flexibility of the building into account. Within the 5th element team we offer a wide range of knowledge and tools in this field and are passionate to improve the quality of Canadian buildings. In this blogpost we will introduce different design and energy performance tools starting with the “Passive House Standard”.
Rising energy costs, growing dependence on energy imports from unstable regions and air pollution need to be addressed with sustainable and cost effective solutions. Buildings are one of the greatest opportunities addressing this issue. The Passive House Standard (PH) offers a concept that is adaptable to different local climates and is a cost effective solution to these crucial global problems. The development and pioneering phase for the Passive House Institute was in in the 90’s mainly in Europe. Although in the late 70s and early 80s Canada was a world leader in energy efficient construction practice with the successful, highly insulated Saskatchewan Conservation House built in 1977 in Regina. The team from the National Research Council and Saskatchewan Research Council used a highly insulated, airtight building envelope and passive solar energy gains to reduce the heating need for the house dramatically. This concept was further developed by Dr. Wolfgang Feist in Germany and he developed the “Passive House” Standard. The Passive House approach aims for an optimal economic investment combined with the highest levels of comfort and indoor air quality.
By now, passive houses are built worldwide, as residential houses, public buildings, schools, hospitals, supermarket this concept is adaptable and furthermore has been successfully introduced to other continents and climate zones.
Here’s a fun little video that explains this in 90 sec:
Passive house explained in 90 secondes!
A Passive House is a comprehensive system offering future security against rising energy prices. “Passive” describes this system’s underlying receptivity and retention capacity. Working with natural resources, free solar energy is captured and applied efficiently, instead of relying predominantly on ‘active’ systems to maintain year round constant indoor temperature. High performance triple-glazed windows, super-insulation, an airtight building envelope, reduction of thermal bridging to a minimum and energy recovery ventilation make possible extraordinary reductions in energy use and carbon emission. Factor 10 compared to standard building code is possible.
Key components are high level of thermal insulation, high insulated window frames with triple low eglazing, thermalbridgefree construction, airtight building envelope, comfort ventilation with highly efficient heat recovery
Benefits of this building method are:
Innovation & Sustainability : this is a modern building concept opening up new perspectives for architects and developers contributing to a sustainable building practice, climate protection and preservation of limited resources.
Resilient & Versatile : Relies very little on mechanical systems and is based on low energy consumption and durable construction. Passive House is proven to be able to built in any climate zone and applied to any building type including a variety of building materials and methods.
Comfort & Indoor Air Quality : with the wellinsulated thermal envelope of the Passive House, there is a constant and uniform indoor climate (heating / cooling). Comfort ventilation technologies provide clean and fresh air at a constant temperature, extract moisture and transport used air towards the outside. Fine filters keep out dust, pollen and other particulate materials. Special, wellinsulated windows improve thermal comfort, prevent heat or cool losses as well as condensation and mold.
More Information can be found at:
Canadian Passive House Institute: http://www.passivehouse.ca/
Passive House Institute (Germany): http://www.passiv.de/en/index.php
International Passive House Association: http://www.passivehouseinternational.org/
Next blog post we’ll be looking at recent developments in Canada and Passive House projects and further informations on sustainable building concepts.
And now to you have you heard about Passive House Standard before? Or maybe about another Energy Rating System you are interested in? Please comment below we are always looking forward to your questions and inspiring thoughts.