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Building regulations are becoming increasingly stringent and will become even more so in the future. Passive homes are the way forward and all new homes will eventually be built Passive in the future. Below is an explanation of the principles of the Passive House. We have also included a 90-second YouTube video which explains these principles very well.
The Passive House is the world leading standard in energy-efficient construction. A Passive House requires as little as 10 per cent of the energy used by typical buildings – meaning an energy savings of up to 90 per cent.
The 5 principles of a Passive house are:-
Insulation - Increased insulation in foundations, floors, walls and roof. Triple-glazed windows are also usually required.
Air Tightness - This is achieved through specialised membranes and tapes around the building envelope. The air tightness should be no more than 0.6 air changes per hour @50pa (Pascal's).
Thermal Bridging Minimised - Thermal Bridging is when an external component of the building connects to the inside of the building thus causing a cold bridge. This can be reduced through good design and construction.
Heat Exchange - A Heat Recovery Ventilation System incorporates a heat exchange unit which can recover up to and over 90% of the heat generated in the building.
Solar Gain - A Passive house optimises the southern exposure of your building. This can also be achieved with poor southern exposure. Large windows on the south-facing elevations maximise solar gain while reducing window sizes on the north elevations where direct sunlight is minimal. Shading also needs to be incorporated to reduce overheating in summer.