Passive House


PH Logo"Passive House" is an ultra efficient building standard that saves up to 90% on your heating bills and ensures your house is always at an indoor temperature of 20deg C with an extremely high level of air quality.​

Passive House is fast becoming the leading energy efficiency and comfort standard for all building types across the world. It truly makes no sense anymore to build anything less. Passive House is very achievable and is actually a very cost effective way to build.

This 20 year-old concept has been achieved in over 20,000 projects, from multi-family units to assisted living facilities, low income housing to condo developments and commercial properties to schools. And yes, you can also apply the standard to houses - both existing and new-build.​

So, to explain Passive House in a nutshell, this is what we'd have:

  1. very comfortable temperatures with no draughts - 24/7, year round

  2. extremely good air quality - always fresh

  3. tiny fuel bills - future proofed against fuel prices

Contact us now to find out more.

As fully certified Passive House Consultants, the team at Comfort Solutions Ireland can help you to realise your dream of a home that is super comfortable to live in, yet extremely inexpensive to run. Contary to popular belief, it is also inexpensive to build a Passive House but watch out for builders who don't have the relevant experience and charge more to compromise for the shortfall. A house built to Passive House standards should cost no more than 5 - 10% more than any well built house built to current Building Regulation standards. This is a fact and has been proven time and again. Furthermore, this extra cost is far outweighed by the ongoing savings in heating bills, even taking mortgage interest into account. 

A Passive House requires as little as 10% of the heating and cooling energy used by more typical buildings – this is a reduction of up to 90%! In terms of heating oil, Passive Houses use less than 1.5 litres per square metre of floor area. While Passive House buildings are held up to stringent quality criteria, the concept itself is very flexible and can be adapted to a variety of building uses and almost any building style. As the Passive House concept is based on physical principles, each building can and should be adapted to its particular climate and Ireland is no different. Call us today to find out more or discuss why you should be considering Passive House or read on for some more slightly technical information.

 

Criteria for Passive House:
CPHD Consultant EN - official logo

1. Space Heating Demand should not exceed 15kWh/m2/year. This means that for every square metre of usable floor space, it should take no more than 15kWh to heat it for a full year!
OR
Building Heating Load not to exceed 10W/m2 in peak demand

In climates where active cooling is needed, the Space Cooling Energy Demand requirement roughly matches the heat demand requirements above, with a slight additional allowance for dehumidification. This is less relevant in Ireland.

* The above energy demands are calculated using special Passive House Planning Software

2. Primary Energy Demand should not exceed 120kWh/m2/year for all domestic applications (heating, hot water, electricity). Primary Energy refers to the all inclusive energy it takes to generate and bring energy to your building eg. electricity generation costs, delivery costs, etc. This energy cannot exceed 120kWh annually for every square metre of usable floor space.

3. Airtightness must be a maximum of 0.6 ACH50 (Air changes per hour @ a pressure of 50 Pascals) This is verified on site by pressure tests with the building put into both pressurised and depressurised states.

4. Thermal Comfort must be met for all living areas year round with not more than 10% of the hours in any given year over 25 deg celcius. In Ireland, we can push to have this brought to below 5%.

All of the above criteria are achieved through intelligent design and implementation of Passive House principles of which there are five. See below.

 

 

Passive House Principals Illustration

Passive House Principals:

1. High quality insulation

2. Superior windows

3. Mechanical ventilation with heat recovery

4. Airtight construction.

5. Thermal bridge free design

 

Thermal insulation
All opaque building components of the exterior envelope of the house must be very well-insulated. For most cool-termperate climates, this means a heat transfer coefficient (U-value) of 0.15 W/(m²K) at the most, i.e. a maximum of 0.15 watts per degree of temperature difference and per square metre of exterior surface are lost.

Passive House windows
The window frames must be well insulated and fitted with low-e glazings filled with argon or krypton to prevent heat transfer. For most cool-termperate climates, this means a U-value of 0.80 W/(m²K) or less, with g-values around 50% (g-value= total solar transmittance, proportion of the solar energy available for the room).

Ventilation heat recovery
Efficient heat recovery ventilation is key, allowing for a good indoor air quality and saving energy. In Passive House, at least 75% of the heat from the exhaust air is transferred to the fresh air again by means of a heat exchanger.

Airtightness of the building
Uncontrolled leakage through gaps must be smaller than 0.6 of the total house volume per hour during a pressure test at 50 Pascal (both pressurised and depressurised).

Absence of thermal bridges
All edges, corners, connections and penetrations must be planned and executed with great care, so that thermal bridges can be avoided. Thermal bridges which cannot be avoided must be minimised as far as possible.

 

Talk to us today to find out more about Passive House; we can help make your dream a reality.

 

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Dermot Lavelle, Westport

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I thoroughly recommend Fergus and the team at Comfort Solutions. I recently had a cavity fill and underfloor insulation carried out at my father's house. As he is elderly and living alone, maximising heat conservation while saving on energy bills is of great benefit and it... Read more

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