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Passive House

Brett Aylen Architecture / Passive House

PASSIVE HOUSE DESIGN (PASSIVHAUS)

Passive House is the most rigorous building performance standard in the world today. The Passive House standard results in homes that maintain a comfortable temperature year round, that are filled with fresh air 24-7, and that manage this while consuming 70% to 90% less heating and cooling energy compared to conventional houses. 

The  Passive House (Passivhaus in German) high-performance building standard is internationally recognized, science-based and proven by almost three decades of research and 60,000 buildings worldwide.

 

So, what is it like to live in a Passive House?

In a certified Passive House building there is a continuous supply of fresh filtered clean air, indoor temperatures are always comfortable, and the energy used for heating and cooling is minimised. 

When the outside is too hot or too cold, too noisy or too polluted (by car exhaust, dust or pollen for example), you close the windows and fresh indoor air is supplied via a mechanical ventilation system with a high-quality heat exchanger. This means that you get continuous fresh air delivered to every room at low volume (so you can hardly hear it or feel it), in a very energy efficient manner. 

Thermal comfort is maintained and heating and cooling loads are minimized through passive measures such as improved insulation, high-quality windows, optimal use of passive solar energy and thermal mass, external shading, and limiting unwanted heat loss or gain by addressing thermal bridges. 

 

There are so many benefits to owning a Passive House, including: 

  1. Healthy. With great indoor air quality – A heat recovery ventilation system ensures a supply of fresh, filtered, clean air all year round. A Passive House-certified ventilation system delivers the air silently without drafts to every occupied space, and exhausts stale air where moisture or odours exist.
  2. Comfortable. With unprecedented thermal balance – Because of appropriate insulation and mitigation of thermal bridges, there are no cold or hot spots. Temperatures are stable and consistent from floor to ceiling, irrespective of the weather outside.
  3. Resilient. Passive House Certified homes remain habitable during a power outage in the dead of winter or during a summer heat wave for much longer than conventional buildings.
  4. Affordable to run. Due to low heating and cooling energy costs, Passive House Certified buildings are less expensive in the face of changes in energy pricing, technology and climate, providing a long-term assurance of affordability.
  5. Easy to operate. Passive House Certified buildings are designed so the building fabric (walls, floor, roof, windows, shading) works to keep the building comfortable. So they don’t need complicated and expensive control systems. It is about careful design, simple and durable systems, and quality construction.
  6. Quiet. You get a quiet home with acoustic separation from the street and neighbours thanks to the insulation, careful sealing and high performance windows all helping to cut out much of the exterior noise.
  7. Access to finance.  Passive House Certified buildings often qualify for reduced interest rates on borrowing as in many instances they would qualify for Clean Energy Home Loans, for example: https://www.bankaust.com.au/personal/borrow/home-loans/clean-energy-home-loan/

“Most of us spend a large percentage of our lives indoors so people are increasingly thinking more closely about air quality in our homes and workplaces. Passive House designs have mechanical ventilation systems that deliver clean, fresh air to each occupied space all year round. Improving ventilation is one of the key ways to keep indoor environments safe and healthy.” (1)

Brett Aylen is a certified Passive House designer and a member of the Australian Passive House Association. https://cms.passivehouse.com/certified designers

If building a home that is comfortable year round, healthy to live in, and energy efficient to run is important to you, then please give our team at Brett Aylen Architecture a call today, or click the button below to book your free consultation. 

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Looking for a way to live in harmony with the environment? Our ecological architecture delivers sustainability without sacrificing comfort or aesthetics. For a custom home design tailored to your lifestyle and offering all the benefits of Passive House, get in touch with our team today for your free consultation.

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