A Passive structure is a building in which “a comfortable interior climate can be maintained without active heating and cooling systems” (Adamson 1987 and Feist 1988). A Passive House heats and cools itself, hence the word “passive” and coupled with renewables is categorized as Net Zero.
What are the Passive House Standards?
Passive House is a building standard that is truly efficient, comfortable, affordable, and ecological at the same time. It is not a brand name, but a construction concept that can be applied by anyone and that has stood the test of practice.
To be certified by the Passivhaus Institut, a Passive House must consume less than 15 kilowatt-hours of electricity per square meter per year for heating and cooling, with total energy consumption for all heat, hot water and household electricity not to exceed 120 kilowatt-hours per square meter per year*.
Passive Houses are very well insulated, draught proof and air tight buildings whose annual space heat demand is so low that conventional heating & cooling systems can be omitted. Passive Houses still use electricity for things like lighting, electronics and appliances, and heating water, but most require no heating source at all aside from the sun and the incidental heat generated by the appliances and people inside the house, hence the word “passive”.
*source: Passivhaus Institut
DID YOU KNOW?
The Province has committed to taking incremental steps to increase energy-efficiency requirements in the BC Building Code to make buildings net-zero energy ready by 2032. A Passive House accomplishes this target today.
Our methods of building off-site, in a controlled environment, with passive house standards methods, is both affordable and intuitive. We allow Canadians to live in their house without the cost of gas excessive electrical bills.
This is possible, even when the temperature outside is many degrees below zero as we apply a super-insulated building envelope (including the roof) creating a healthy and high-efficiency home capable of capturing the sunlight as its heat source.
Top 7 Benefits of a Passive Home
Lower Utility Costs
A study conducted in Germany in 2003 compared the energy consumption of Passive Houses with the energy consumption of both conventional and energy-efficient homes and found that passive houses had an average energy savings of 90 percent for space heating over conventional homes and up to 80 percent compared with homes built to Germany’s stringent low-energy construction standards*.
Rebates & Tax Credits
While specific tax incentives vary from year to year and place to place, you may be eligible for several federal, provincial and local energy tax credits when building a new energy-efficient home such as a passive house.
Superior Air Quality
Controlled mechanical ventilation continuously replaces stale, humid or otherwise “polluted” indoor air with fresh, outdoor air*.High efficiency ventilation systems HVR pull air from kitchens, bathrooms, and any other high-moisture or odor-producing spaces and pipes fresh air into bedrooms, great rooms and other living spaces. This balanced ventilation system keeps the humidity inside the home at a comfortable 30 to 60 percent**.
*source: Passivhaus Institut **source: Passive House Institute US
Quality & Durability
Passive Homes must be built to the best possible modern standards, making for a durable, well-built home. Because every aspect of the passive house is carefully planned and specified in advance, there is theoretically little room for error in the building process, and nothing is left to chance with regard to materials or construction. For these reasons, building in a controlled environment we can ensure constant quality and accuracy.
Peace & Quiet
The high-performance windows and heavily insulated doors and walls in a passive home greatly reduce exposure to street noise and other outdoor sounds.
Inside the house, Passivhaus Institut requirements specify 24/7 low velocity air distribution, the efficiency of the heat recovery ventilation should be high, energy consumption of the fans should be low, the operational conditions should be clean, and the unit should be very quiet.
Reduced Reliance on Outside Power
The low-energy consumption required by passive house construction makes it incredibly easy to supply some or all of the household’s electricity through clean, on-site power sources such as solar panels or wind turbines. Therefore, an ideal platform for constructing net zero homes.