What Is A Passive House? All You Need To Know

As the world is becoming more aware of environmental issues, there has been a surge of interest in environmentally friendly construction practices. As well as being better for the planet, they can also be cheaper to run and nicer places to live. We’ve got a lot of experience in building Net Zero and Built Green homes, but did you know that we’re also experts at building Passive Houses? 

Why Build A Passive House?

Passive House is a standard that’s used in construction. These buildings are so well insulated that they do not need a dedicated heating system. Instead, the building is built in such a way that it captures heat and makes it very difficult for the warm air to escape. Passive Houses are some of the most comfortable, affordable, healthy and energy-efficient houses that you can build. 

How To Build A Passive House?

There are five main construction principles to follow when building a Passive House in Canada. By following these principles you can build an incredible, energy-efficient home that will be much cheaper to run than traditional homes.

Solar Orientation

A Passive House uses the sun to help heat it. Solar energy is green, free and an integral part of Passive House design. Building a home with a south-facing orientation and large windows is a great way of harnessing the energy of the sun. South-facing windows receive much more sunlight than any other direction throughout the year allowing you to maximize the effectiveness of the sun. Solar panels should also be placed in the same direction.

High Insulation

Once you have generated heat for your home it is very important to keep it there. In traditional homes, the majority of heat is lost through the roof, walls and windows. A Passive House will have much more insulation than regular homes. While this level of superinsulation may seem excessive to some, we know that this is one of the main reasons why a Passive House can be 90% more efficient than others.

High-Performance Windows

When building a Passive House it’s very important to use a suitable window. Passive House windows are often triple glazed with argon or krypton gas in between the layers. This allows heat to easily enter the house but makes it difficult for it to escape. These windows are also airtight and thermally broken. By ensuring that no heat escapes the house it removes the need to create more heat, making your home more environmentally friendly.

Airtight Enclosure

Heat can escape through the smallest gaps and cracks in the exterior of our homes. A Passive House must be airtight and draught free. For a Passive House to be airtight it needs to be built by talented builders that can join materials and building elements expertly. It’s also important to use materials that are well suited to airtight performance. Reinforced concrete is one of the most popular materials in Passive House construction for this exact reason.

Balanced Ventilation with Heat Recovery

As Passive Houses are excellent at preventing air from leaving, we have to make it possible to move air around the home when we want to. A Heat Retention Ventilation System (HRV) can help ventilate your home which prevents condensation from forming on windows. A well-ventilated home can make it healthier as stagnant air can contain a lot of moisture, contaminants and odours from cooking. The system also heats the home in cold weather and cools it during the warmer months.

What is a Passive Home

Passive House Certification And Standards

Building a Passive House requires a lot of skill, expertise and knowledge. Passive House Canada runs a number of courses to help educate people and give construction teams the chance to earn qualifications. A Passive House is a fantastic model for new homes. However, if somebody unqualified attempts to build it, you run a high chance of the project not being a success. 

RDC Fine Homes is certified by Passive House Canada. Using this knowledge and our decades of experience, we deliver top of the line Passive Houses for our clients. Get in touch with us today and let’s start your Passive House project!

Posted: Thursday, November 07, 2019