So what is Passivhaus? Also known as Passive House, it better translates as ‘Passive Building’ and applies to any building typology you can think of. Passivhaus buildings are always comfortable, and use around 90% less energy for HVAC than a typical building, and up to 80% less energy overall. Passivhaus is a simple, proven design and construct methodology, and is making waves in the Australian construction industry.
Watch the video below for a great introduction – we can’t put it any better!
There are Passivhaus fire stations, schools, hospitals, high rise office buildings, apartment towers and tens of thousands of homes. Passivhaus is a standard that targets thermal comfort, and manages to deliver superior energy efficiency in one of the best win-win approaches to design.
We’re passionate about Passivhaus, and, once you know it, we believe you will be too. Want to hear more about it? Invite us to present in your office.
Thermal comfort is the ultimate aim of Passivhaus. Based on the international thermal comfort standard ISO 7730, every Passivhaus building is adapted to suit its use and climate zone. The standard means you will be just as comfortable in Jakarta as you will in Antarctica (and there are projects to prove it!).
Many detractors of the standard state that Passivhaus is not ‘necessary’ in Australia, where we live outdoor lifestyles, yet our homes are among the coldest and least comfortable in the developed world – just ask an expat!
Through the application of insulation, airtightness and inclusion of highly efficient plant and appliances, Passivhaus can reduce the energy use of a typical building in Europe by around 90%. In Australia we can save at least 75%, and all with a healthy and comfortable building.
What’s there to argue about that?
Health & Wellbeing
Passivhaus buildings are characterised by their comfortable indoor environment, as well as the optimised air quality they offer. Using simple principles of insulation & airtightness, alongside ventilation with heat recovery, the standard delivers buildings that offer comfort conditions in line with the international standard ISO 7730, with fresh, filtered air and high radiant temperatures that serve to eliminate cold spots, draughts, condensation and potential for mould.
Return on Investment
A Passivhaus building is one that has reduced energy use and is durable by design – therefore costs less to run and has reduced maintenance outlays.
Long-term tracking data from Europe, as part of the Passive-On project, shows that a residential Passivhaus project is likely to require between 3-8% more in upfront costs; however many projects have been completed with no additional investment. Any additional costs are quickly recouped through lower operating costs, usually within around five years or less. For example, the additional investment in materials such as insulation is partially offset by the significant reduction, or even elimination, of heating and air-conditioning systems. With the health, wellbeing and comfort measures introduced by the stringent build quality, there are many benefits that also cannot easily be quantified.