Passivhaus, also known as Passive House, is a rigorously scientific approach to new construction, aimed at creating exceptionally comfortable and healthy living and working environments. The term 'haus', meaning 'building' in German, implies that these principles can be applied to both residential and non-residential projects.
Passivhaus buildings are renowned for delivering the highest level of occupant comfort with minimal energy used for heating and cooling. They are constructed with precise attention to detail and strict adherence to design, quality control, and assurance processes, following the guidelines and training provided by the Passivhaus Institute in Germany.
These buildings achieve a remarkable reduction in space heating requirements, over 75% less compared to standard new build practices. They provide unparalleled comfort and quality while potentially reducing occupants’ fuel bills by up to 90%. The Passivhaus standard is a solid approach to meeting the UK's legislative target of an 80% reduction in carbon emissions.
The essence of Passivhaus lies in its position as the pinnacle of sustainable design and development, using proven techniques available for over twenty-five years to create energy-efficient, healthy, and superior living and working environments.
Achieving Passivhaus standards typically involves:
As the Passivhaus standard evolves in the UK, Europe, and globally, some projects are advancing beyond the original specifications to meet net-zero targets. This evolution has led to the introduction of ‘Passivhaus Plus’ and ‘Passivhaus Premium’ standards, which incorporate renewable energy generation into the certification process.
PASSIVHAUS PLUS: A building meeting the Passivhaus Plus standard significantly reduces energy usage while producing as much energy as it consumes annually through renewable sources.
PASSIVHAUS PREMIUM: This standard goes a step further, generating far more energy than the building requires for operation, making Passivhaus Premium an ambitious target for the most dedicated.
These advanced levels of certification are pushing the boundaries of sustainable construction, aligning with global efforts to achieve net-zero emissions and setting new benchmarks in the industry.
Prof. Dr Wolfgang Feist, Director of the Passivhaus Institut
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