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The Benefits of Passivhaus Buildings

With Passivhaus becoming a catchphrase for comfort and energy-efficiency, more people are looking for information about the features and benefits of these buildings.

The purpose of this article is to highlight the advantages of Passivhaus living and how they can make a difference.

5 benefits of of Passivhaus Buildings

Energy-Efficiency

Passivhaus buildings are designed with energy-efficiency in mind. They can use up to 90% less energy than traditional building stock without sacrificing functionality. For example, a Passivhaus window can lower heat loss by over 70% compared to double-glazed windows and a quality heat recovery system lowers ventilation heat loss by up to 90%, which means that little energy is needed to maintain comfortable indoor temperatures. For the user, this means lower fuel bills. On a wider scale, the Passivhaus standard can reduce CO² emissions, create employment opportunities, and improve the economy.

Comfort

The Passivhaus Standard is a high one when it comes to comfort. The buildings are free from draughts, cold spots, and overheating and benefit from an ongoing supply to fresh air. This comfort level is achieved by using Passivhaus-certified components such as insulation materials, windows, and mechanical ventilation with heat recovery.

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Quiet and Healthy

Passivhaus buildings are known for their quiet and healthy indoor environments. People spend most of their time indoors, so the buildings they live and work in naturally have an impact on their health and wellbeing. The Passivhaus standard includes a ventilation system that delivers a regular supply of fresh air, removes odours and pollutants, and maintains comfortable indoor temperatures. The high quality insulation and windows also make the buildings extremely quiet.

Affordable

One frequently asked question concerns the cost of Passivhaus buildings. Construction costs vary from one country to the next but average around 10% more than the traditional build method, depending on the availability of suitable components and qualified professionals. Operating costs are considerably lower, thanks to the use of premium quality components and considerable energy savings. One lifetime cycle cost analysis indicated that even if a Passivhaus building was more expensive to build, the lifecycle costs would be lower than traditional buildings.

Versatile

The Passivhaus Standard can be adapted to all building types and climate zones. It has now been over 25 years since the first Passivhaus was constructed and although most of the buildings are residential, this trend is gradually changing. There are now many non-residential buildings being constructed to the Passivhaus Standard including office buildings, schools, factories, and even swimming pools. It is rapidly becoming apparent that there are no limits on construction materials or methods that can be used, as long as the essential requirements are complied with.

To accomplish future energy efficiency targets, current building stock needs to be revisited and improved. Retrofit projects can also be carried out according to the Passivhaus EnerPHit Standard and has proven to be successful in improving the quality of existing buildings and reducing their energy demand. There is now an in-depth certification process that allows buildings to be retrofitted to the standard over a longer period of time.

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