Why would you want to own a Passive House?
Imagine yourself sitting back and relaxing in your warm, quiet, custom designed home as you close out the busy day, reflecting on your great decision to build a passive home, smiling as you consider the low energy consumption of your home thanks to careful design and detailing, feeling content that your home has been designed to maximise comfort and minimise energy consumption.
A Passive house can be summarised as having high levels of insulation in an airtight external envelope, combined with a heat recovery ventilation system. These features combine to create a house that maintains a constant temperature of 20 degrees celsius throughout the entire house, all year round, whether you live in Queenstown or Auckland. A Passive house can save up to 90% of the heating costs of an equivalent Code minimum house which is heated to 20 degrees celsius. You are warm but never too warm in your passive house, surrounded by a constant supply of fresh/ filtered air. Fresh air and house air are passed through a balanced heat transfer system to ensure that the air circulating through the house is kept at a constant temperature and that the moisture is regulated to eliminate condensation within the house. The environment created in the house has obvious health benefits to the occupants. A positive side effect of this insulation and ventilation is that Passive Houses are also very quiet, you could live beside a motorway and not hear the traffic outside.
Building a Passive House uses higher quality building products and systems than a standard house (such as triple glazed thermally broken window and door suites) and as a result build cost can be higher than a similarly designed house. However, with the lower running costs of a Passive House and quality of the building components, over the lifespan of the building they are shown to be more cost effective than a conventionally built house.
bbc architects are one of a select few Architect members of the New Zealand Passive House Institute and now have a certified Passive House Designer on staff. We have designed a number of architectural passive homes with high energy efficiency and very happy clients.
Talk to us now, we can help your new home dreams become reality.
What is a Passive House?
A Passive House is a comfortable, well ventilated, virtually airtight building that is primarily heated by passive gain, it needs very little additional energy. A passive house combines high level comfort with low level energy consumption utilising key components like insulation, performance windows and heat recovery.
Passive House projects are not dependent on solar gains to achieve thermal comfort and energy efficiency, but they still benefit from a careful consideration of the impact of sun paths and shading.
Identifying a solid thermal envelope, the cocoon that keeps you cosy, is where it all starts. You need to be able to detect three functional layers: an airtightness layer on the inside of the insulation, the insulation layer, and lastly a wind and weather tightness layer.
In Passive House projects mechanical ventilation takes the form of a highly efficient system with heat recovery. It operates continuously (and quietly) to extract moist, stale air from kitchens, bathrooms and utility rooms and supply fresh air into bedrooms and living spaces.
Contact us now to discuss how we can help you achieve a passive home.