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The Passivhaus standard

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Passivhaus is an international energy performance standard for buildings which aims to reduce the requirement for space heating and cooling.

Passivhaus Details

The Passivhaus standard is designed to dramatically reduce the requirement for space heating and cooling and create excellent indoor comfort levels. There are currently over 30,000 buildings around the world constructed to the Passivhaus standard.

About the Passivhaus standard

The main aim of  Passivhaus is to achieve thermal comfort through use of passive measures such as:

  • Good levels of insulation with minimal thermal bridges

  • Excellent level of airtightness

  • Good indoor air quality

  • Passive solar gains and internal heat sources

These measures can be applied not only to the residential sector but also to commercial, industrial and public buildings.

The core focus of Passivhaus is to dramatically reduce the requirement for space heating and cooling, whilst also creating excellent indoor comfort levels. This is primarily achieved by adopting a fabric first approach to the design by specifying high levels of insulation to the thermal envelope with exceptional levels of airtightness and the use of whole house mechanical ventilation.

Passivhaus buildings have been constructed in every major European country, Australia, China, Japan, Russia, Canada the USA and South America. A research station has even been constructed to the Passivhaus standard in Antarctica!

Use cases for Passivhaus

A common misconception is that Passivhaus only applies to cold weather climates when it actually works equally we in warm and hot climates. High levels of airtightness and insulation work equally well in protecting buildings from overheating provided there is adequate solar shading.

Whilst it is possible to achieve the new build Passivhaus standard in the refurbishment, it is often difficult to achieve without undertaking major works. The EnerPHit standard has been developed as a refurbishment guide for Passivhaus renovations and refurbishments.

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Passivhaus training with BRE Academy

Passivhaus training with BRE Academy

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