Passive House Concept & Criteria

A Passive House is a building that is designed and constructed to a strict set of criteria to ensure maximum comfort with minimum overall energy consumption. The building fabric is detailed in such a way that heat loss is reduced to an absolute minimum, whilst internal heat gains are maximised. As a result, conventional heating systems can be removed and space heating can sufficiently be supplied through passive sources such as body heat and the sun.

The Passive House approach is tried and tested and is widespread in both Germany and Austria. The first Passive House project was built in Germany in 1990 and there are now an estimated 70,000 Passive Houses across Europe.

The basic principles, upon which the Passive House Standard has been developed, centre around a set of strict criteria that every Passive House project must adhere to in order to become a certified Passive House. The main criteria are outlined below:

  • Space Heating Demand: ≤ 15 kWh/(m²a)
  • Building Heating Load: ≤ 10 W/m²
  • Useful Cooling Demand: ≤ 15kWh/(m²a)
  • Primary Energy Demand: ≤ 120 kWh/(m²a)
  • Building Air-tightness: ≤ 0.6 ac/h־¹
  • Excess Temperature: ≤ 10%

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