What is the Passive House standard?

The concept of the Passive House was born in the late 1980s. In 1991, was built the first Passive House, in Darmstadt, Germany. In 1996 is established the German Passive House Institute. Over the past 25 years, over 40,000 Passive House buildings have been built around the world (Europe, Asia, South and North America, Australia). Buildings are designed for a variety of purposes, ranging from single-family houses, schools, kindergartens and sports halls, to factories and skyscrapers.
The main benefits of the Passive House Standard are the high comfort, profitability, and environmental protection while reducing heating and cooling demand by 5 to 9 times, compared to buildings built according to the current building regulations. It is the only building standard that combines these three benefits without putting them into conflict.

The Passive House standard considers the buildings as living organisms in which all interact and thoroughly explores and analyzes these relationships. All research and knowledge are integrated into the software Passive House Planning Package PHPP. This is the only software that can verify and prove whether a building meets the criteria of the standard.

The design of passive buildings is an in-depth process, with the end result directly dependent on the integrated design approach. All professionals should work in constant communication, aware of the leading role of the building standard. When designing, special attention should be paid to: 

  1. Opaque building envelope:
    1.1. Thickness and quality of the insulation
    1.2. Setting of the proper construction of the building 
  2. Transparent building envelope
    2.1. Windows with extremely efficient frames and glazing
    2.2. Reduction of the installation thermal bridge
    2.3. Evaluation and optimization of the shading 
  3. Thermal bridges
    3.1.Thermal bridge-free design 
  4. Airtightness
    4.1. Design of high airtightness of the building 
  5. Mechanical ventilation system with heat recovery
    5.1.High efficiency of the heat recovery unit
    5.2. Optimized and effective design of all air ducts 

With proper design and implementation of construction works according to the Passive House standard (passive house certification, gives you a quality guarantee), you will receive: 

  1. Exceptional comfort
    1.1. Comfortable temperatures in the building
    1.2. Continuous flow of fresh, filtered air
    1.3. Lack of mold and excess moisture
    1.4. Lack of air drafts 
  2. High profitability
    2.1.Short payback period of the additional investment (depending on the size of the building – from 3 to 9 years, as for large buildings, the return is faster)
    2.2. Independence from the fast increase in the prices of energy carriers
    2.3. Fast and easy sale or rent – thanks to quality and comfort, Passive Houses are easy to rent or sell 
  3. And as a bonus – Protection of the environment
    3.1. Reduced heating and cooling demand by 5 to 9 times, compared to buildings built to current building regulations.
    3.2. Extended life cycle of the building – the life cycle of Passive Houses is about 30% longer, which reduces environmental pollution from the destruction of old buildings up to 30%. 

Being poor is not an excuse to invest in low-quality, energy-inefficient buildings. It’s just a proof that we do not know how to get rich. To be independent of the rising prices of the energy carriers to create a comfortable working and living environment and to preserve the beautiful nature that our land has given to us, to become richer in the future, is time to realize the tremendous potential of the “Passive House Standard”. 

Author: Svetlin Dobrevski