What is a passive house?
A passive house is a building designed and constructed to a rigorous, voluntary standard for energy efficiency, thereby reducing its ecological footprint. It results in ultra-low energy buildings that require little energy for space heating or cooling.
The Passive House & Low Energy Home concept is a comprehensive approach to cost-efficient, high-quality, healthy and sustainable construction.
“A Passivhaus is a building in which thermal comfort can be achieved solely by post-heating or post-cooling the fresh air flow required for a good indoor air quality, without the need for additional recirculation of air.” – Passivhaus Institut (PHI)
The history of passive house development
Often referred to by the German word ‘Passivhaus’, the world’s first passive house was constructed in Germany in 1990.
In 2011, the first fully certified Passivhaus in Scotland was constructed, using wall systems designed and developed by ACJ’s architectural services team.
Our wall systems were certified as suitable for PassivHaus construction, due to their superinsulation qualities, and went on to be used within the most innovative energy-efficient builds of their kind within Scotland and the UK, including;
– The First Fully Certified PassivHaus in Scotland.
– The First Fully Certified Affordable housing PassivHaus in Scotland.
– The First Fully Certified terrace of passive houses in Scotland.
– The First Fully Certified PassivHaus housing development in the UK
How does it work?
Passive House is a building standard that is energy-efficient, comfortable and affordable at the same time.
Superinsulation, such as provided by our own Therm-U-Wall system is an integral part of the solution, but only one part of this holistic approach to house design.
Passive Houses make efficient use of the sun, internal heat sources and heat recovery, rendering conventional heating systems unnecessary throughout even the coldest of winters. During warmer months, Passive Houses make use of passive cooling techniques such as strategic shading to keep comfortably cool.
A ventilation system imperceptibly supplies constant fresh air, making for superior air quality without unpleasant draughts. A highly efficient heat recovery unit allows for the heat contained in the exhaust air to be re-used.
Comfort designed in
Passive Houses are praised for the high level of comfort they offer. Internal surface temperatures vary little from indoor air temperatures, even in the face of extreme outdoor temperatures. Special windows and a building envelope consisting of a highly insulated roof and floor slab, as well as highly insulated exterior walls, keep the desired warmth in the house – or undesirable heat out.
ACJ Design experts can answer your questions about passive house design and construction. If you’re an architect or home builder working on a passive house development, talk to us about out ultra efficient closed panel systems.
Other low-energy developments
Where a building is designed or retrofitted with appropriate renewable technologies, such as our team at Cormack Homes specialise in, then it can be designated as net zero-energy building, i.e. over the course of a year it does not use more energy than it generates.
The first Zero Energy Design building, constructed in 1979, used passive solar heating and cooling techniques with air-tight construction and superinsulation. Technology has come on a lot since then, and energy prices have risen substantially, meaning that more and more people are attracted to the concept or low-energy or zero-energy building.
Contact the team at Cormack Homes on 01343 559327 to find out how much you can save on your energy bills by investing in green alternatives. We’ll also help you find out if you’re eligible to apply for loans or funding towards your build.