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Passive & Energy Efficient Builders

                 Phone:  022-27494

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PASSIVE HOUSE

It’s proposed by some, that all new dwellings being constructed by 2015 should be constructed as Passive Houses. We might well see new regulations that will require houses to be built to Passive House Standard along with the self-generation of electrical power, whether by wind turbines or solar photovoltaic panels. However it is not compulsory at present to construct your new home as a Passive House but it might be worth investigating same to see if you could harness the benefits of this modern design. Passive Houses are dwellings in which a controlled comfortable temperature can be achieved all year round with minimal energy consumption.  The key components of a passive house are high levels of insulation, absolute air-tightness, elimination of all cold bridging and the incorporation of a heat-recovery ventilation system. A passive house must incorporate an intelligent vapour barrier with a balanced heat recovery ventilation system, which assures good air-quality while removing moisture and other potential pollutants.  This type of house is more demanding in regard to conception, design and execution of construction work.  To ensure quality approval, Passive Houses must be checked and certified using the specialist Passive House Planning Package (PHPP) and submitted to an approved Authority.
A Passive House is approximately 15% to 20% more expensive to build than a conventional house, but the low energy costs will out way the initial additional costs and also put a higher real-estate value on your home. The additional costs are mainly due to the extra/better quality of the materials and fittings to comply with the improved regulations. There is also additional detailing and workmanship involved in assuring the correct requirements with air tightness and cold bridging. The key components of a typical passive house are indicated in the table below.


 PASSIVE HOUSE  ELEMENT

            TYPICAL PASSIVHAUS STANDARD REQUIRED FOR IRISH CLIMATE

Super Insulation (walls, floor, roof)

U < 0.15 W(m2K)

Triple Glazing

U , 0.8 W(M2K)

Minimum Air Tightness

0.6 air changes per hour measured at a pressure of 50 Pascal: n50kWh/m2a

Mechanical Heat Recovery Ventilation

Heat recovery efficiency > 75%

Maximum annual space heating requirement

15kWh per sq. metre:  15kwH(m2a)

Optimal heat load

10 W per square metre:  10W/m

Maximum annual primary energy requirement

120kWh per square metre (domestic hot water, heating and auxiliary electricity): 120kWh(m2a)

Small capacity back-up heating system

Pellet boiler, compact unit, gas, etc.

Heat delivery

Normally through air ducting, but could be underfloor heating or high efficient radiators

Solar Shading

Often required over south facing windows to prevent overheating in summer

Household appliances

A-rated recommended

Lighting

CFL or LED recommended

On-site renewable

Thermal solar collectors for domestic hot water

Not all of the components and requirements above are self-explanatory and need precise calculations and detailing by a professional prior to commencement and will ultimately require testing and verification in the PHPP software. The diagram below is a standard detail indicated for passive design.
passive house detail diagram

 

   
 
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