Green homes and buildings have become quite popular. With more individuals and companies coming forward to make their spaces greener and more energy efficient by the day, experts believe that it would only be a matter of time before the bar for energy conservation is raised a notch further. Enter the next best thing that happened in the area, the Passive House!
A passive house is not just another low energy building. While standard energy star homes enjoy energy savings of up to 30%, a passive home enjoys energy savings of up to 90%. And while the elements that go into building a passive home may be expensive, you would surely reap the return on these investments in the next couple of years.
Benefits of a Passive House
Apart from energy savings, a passive house has several other potential benefits it can offer homeowners. These include:
Zero Energy Possibility
While building a renewable energy home can run you high on costs, a Passive house would reduce your home’s energy demands significantly, thus making it more affordable as well as more achievable in the long run.
High level of Comfort
Comfort never takes a backseat in the case of a passive home. Passive homes achieve the perfect balance between quality and comfort, with neither overtaking the other. These homes make use of myriad energy sources within the building, including solar heat and even individual body heat to heat up the home during winter.
The use of proper insulation on the roof, exterior walls and floor slab will also help retain heat in winter and keep out the heat during summer. Proper ventilation systems will help allow plenty of fresh air to entire the room, thus improving indoor air quality considerably.
The airtight design and insulation of a passive house enables it to be very energy efficient. In addition to this, the thermal bridge free design employed during construction of a passive home gets rid of weak spots that could lead to heat loss or cold corners. This, in turn, would make the home enjoy high energy efficiency to a great extent.
High level of Sustainability
Passive homes use very less energy both during construction and afterwards. This easily makes them one of the most sustainable types of accommodation for current and future generations. By giving back to the environment in more ways than one, a passive house will surely provide future generations and safer and healthier world to live in.
There is no need to build a passive home from scratch. Such is the versatility of the passive home design that it can be easily integrated into existing and old buildings as well. In addition to homes, the passive home standard can also be incorporated into other buildings like schools and administrative offices. You can also choose to make only a portion of your home passive while leaving the rest of it relatively untouched.
And finally, affordability! While the cost of building a passive home or renovating your home to meet passive home standards can be a bit high, the return on investment of the same is literally double. If you take this as a measure of affordability, then passive homes are definitely one of the more affordable house designs in the market today.
Top 3 Pointers to note for Passive Home Builders
Now that you have found out the myriad benefits you stand to enjoy with a passive home, here are some pointers you need to take into consideration when building your very own passive house.
Choose the Site Carefully
Passive homes require unobstructed views of the sun on the south side. Hence, your choice of site selection for your passive home would include an area that does not have room for growth (in the form of trees or buildings that can block your home from the sum’s view) on the south side in the future. Sites that are deep from north to south or on the north end of the lots are good locations for a passive home.
Choose the placement of the windows properly
Passive homes use solar energy for power. Hence, your choice of window placement should be in lieu with the home’s ability to harness solar energy. While south facing windows would be a welcome addition to your home, east and west facing windows are best avoided as they lose energy.
Choose proper insulation
The efficiency of a passive home depends on how much insulation is packed into it. Proper insulation will keep out the heat in summer and the cold in winter. Hence, your choice of insulation for your passive home should guarantee to make the space airtight.
More homeowners are opting for passive homes these days owing to the energy efficiency and eco-friendly benefits involved. You can make your home a passive abode too with some rather simple construction/renovation tips.