Passive House design explained + infographic

by Greg on June 4, 2020

passive home design

What is a Passive House?
A passive home is defined by a serious of stringent qualifications that ensure the home can maintain a comfortable interior temperature year-round — without active heating or cooling. To be a certified passive house, it must not use more than 120kWh annually in heating and cooling energy per square meter of living space.

This may sound like an impossible feat, but thanks to the strategic use of trees, sun, and insulation, passive homes are able to maintain a comfortable interior temperature within these qualifications. Despite these strict requirements, passive homes come in many shapes and sizes, since their specifications depend largely on the environment they’re located in.

How Do Passive Homes Work?
Passive homes must make use of every element they can. Many passive homes face south to take advantage of the sun’s heat during the winter, but avoid direct sunlight during warmer months. In addition, either man-made or environmental shading is important for maintaining a cooler temperature in summer months.

The second element that makes passive homes possible is incredibly efficient insulation. From an extra thick coating in the walls to double-paned and airtight windows, it’s critical that the structure is designed to minimize heat transfer. This also means, passive homes require efficient ventilation that can filter contaminants and moisture from the indoors to the outdoors, with minimal loss of heat.

The Benefits of a Passive Home
Though this may sound like a lot of work, there are a huge number of benefits to buying or designing a passive home.

Without the need for a heating or cooling system, passive homes can use up to 90% less energy than your average house. This also means their impact on the environment is much lower.

To see a passive home in action, the infographic below from The Zebra breaks down exactly how a passive home works and how you can switch to cleaner energy.

Passive homes infographic

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