What is PassivHaus?
Passivhaus is the fastest growing energy performance standard in the world with 60,000 buildings realised to date, the majority of those since 2000. The strength of the PassivHaus standard lies in the simplicity of its approach – a building that has an excellent thermal performance, exceptional air-tightness with controlled, mechanical ventilation. Passivhaus continues to exceed the UK Building Regulations standard and will readily enable the achievement of Zero Carbon Homes.
The rigorous approach to building design allows the designer to minimise the energy consumption of the building – some residential buildings only specify a heated towel rail as means of conventional heating. And lower energy consumption can offer reduced carbon output and hence limit environmental impact. Over several years, completed PassivHaus buildings have been monitored and the energy consumption measured, proving that the designed performance projections are delivered in practice.
Moreover, PassivHaus reduces running costs while providing a high level of comfort and excellent indoor air quality, achieved by reducing air infiltration rates – unwanted leaks in the fabric causing draughts – and supplying fresh, filtered air.
Passivhaus design principles, originally applied to housing, can be applied to any building and this includes schools, community and commercial buildings. nvirohaus is currently undertaking research and development with a view to delivering sustainable and affordable Passivhaus housing solutions constructed off-site which can today meet anticipated legislation for Zero Carbon Homes inevitably due within the next year or so.
[ Illustrated schemes – Kranichstein, a residential project and the first Passivhaus, and a Montessori School ]
nvirohaus is able to offer the rigorous design required to achieve these levels of performance, trained by the BRE in understanding the environmental principles and in the use of the supporting software – the PassivHaus Planning Package, PHPP – required to deliver certified projects.