Passivhaus: The Gold Standard for Energy Efficient Self Build Homes
When it comes to the construction industry and advancements in technology, few can disagree that the optimum route to super energy efficient self build homes is now widely available. But how far do you go? Straw bales, solar panels, underground heat pumps… all have their uses, but there is one concept that still represents the gold standard.
Passivhaus (or Passive House) is an advanced low energy construction standard for buildings. By using high performance insulation and making a building completely draught-free, it effectively eliminates heat loss to create a building with very low environmental impact. With 90% of your home’s heating coming from ‘passive’ sources such as sunlight, body heat, and even heat from a microwave or hairdryer, it means that traditional heating systems are a thing of the past.
The five key elements of Passivhaus combine good quality design and craftsmanship, superior windows and doors, high levels of insulation, airtightness and mechanical ventilation – all of which set Passivhaus construction apart from standard building regulations.
Superior Health and Comfort as Standard
A Passivhaus is continuously supplied with fresh air via the mechanical ventilation and heat recovery system (MVHR), which does a far better job of consistently bringing fresh air in than simply opening windows. This has advantages. Unlike just opening the windows, fine filters in the ventilation system eliminate humidity and associated mould problems, as well as keeping dirt and pollen out – a blessing for those who suffer from allergies and respiratory problems.
Common Myths Dispelled!
Yes, you can open a window, and yes, you can have a wood burning stove, and many more traditional features in your Passivhaus, but you’ll probably find the living environment of your home to be just about perfect.
We hear from an increasing number of self builders who have looked at all different types of construction methods but having done their research, can’t see why they wouldn’t want to have the best living environment available for their family to enjoy – which Passivhaus provides.