A Passivhaus building is a highly energy efficient building built to the Passivhaus standard.
The focus of Passivhaus is thermal comfort for the building occupants/users.
Why build to the Passivhaus standard?
Designing & building to the Passivhaus standard has many benefits including; significantly reducing heating/cooling requirements & the costs associated with these, high build standard, draft-free, increased thermal comfort all year round as well as an overall minimal carbon footprint for the building when compared to standard construction.
As an example, to meet the Passivhaus standard a new building must not have an annual heating demand that exceeds 15kWh/(m²a). To compare this to an existing building any EPC could be consulted (all show an estimated kWh/(m²a) as part of the certificate), on one of our recent projects on an end terrace 1950s two-bedroom house the estimated heating demand prior to renovation works was 458kWh/(m²a).
How is a Passivhaus heated?
The orientation of the building along with the installation of Mechanical Ventilation Heat Recovery (MVHR) means that traditional forms of heating are not required in a Passivhaus. A back up heating system is often installed to top-up the heating if required during any sudden decrease in outside temperature.
Are you limited on construction methods & finishes?
No, is the short answer. It is possible to achieve the Passivhaus standard with most construction types & it should not negatively impact on options for finishing materials.
Is Passivhaus a new standard?
No, the first Passivhaus was built in 1991 in Germany but the concept & feasibility study started in 1988 by Physcist Wolfgang Feist & Structural Engineer Bo Adamson.