One of the most important factors to consider when buying a Sustainable Passive Home is the orientation of the house. Orienting your home to face the sun in the direction of the south will maximize solar exposure during the day, but you also want to be sure that most of the home’s surface area is facing east or west. Facing north will be the coldest orientation, while facing east or west is in-between.
What is a passive house?
If you’ve ever walked into a passive house, you’re probably wondering, “What is that?” The term passive house refers to a low-energy home that has several characteristics in common with modern homes. It offers superior indoor comfort, consistent temperature, and excellent air quality. It also reduces internal and external noise. Passive house construction requires low space heating energy demand, with the peak demand for energy consumption in a passive house of around 15 kWh/m2 of living space. To qualify, the building must also use energy-efficient windows, and cover a large part of the roof with solar panels.
While the initial cost of passive house construction is higher, homeowners are rewarded with lower utility bills and better air quality. In addition to saving money on utilities, many passive houses also lower the maintenance costs associated with their homes. These benefits make a sustainable passive house even more appealing to homebuyers in challenging climates. But a passive house is not right for every household. While it may cost a bit more to build, it’s well worth the initial investment, as the benefits far outweigh any disadvantages.
When you are ready to move in to your home
Passive homes are becoming more and more popular especially down in the southern end of Australia and New Zealand which can be the coldest. Tasmania and Victoria in Australia along with Dunedin and Invercargill in NZ, it is these places that benefit most from a well-insulated home. It is one of the most important aspects of your new passive home. Good insulation prevents hot air from escaping and cold air from entering into your home. When your house is not adequately insulated, hot air will escape in through gaps in the walls, floors, and roof. Having a home with excellent insulation prevents this from happening. So, before you book in Dunedin movers or Invercargill movers to make the move to your new home, make sure all the certification requirements and tests such as blow test are carried out so that your home can get certified before you move in.
What certifications are needed for a passive home
A Certified Passive House Designer or Consultant should have extensive knowledge about the subject. They should be certified in their area of expertise and be able to provide you with a thorough project inspection. Certified Passive House Consultants can also provide valuable insight into the best products and materials for your home. In addition, they should be able to communicate ideas clearly and work well with the team on site.
Passive House buildings must meet rigorous standards for thermal comfort, durability, sound, and health. As such, they are often considered to be the most energy-efficient and environmentally sustainable buildings. There are many options for Passive House certifications, including those that focus on new-construction and retrofits, and even specialty pathways for historical or sensitive retrofits.
To get certified, the requirements are:
- Space Heat Demand max. 15 kWh/m2 OR Heating load max. 10 W/m2
- Space Cooling Demand max. 15 kWh/m2 OR Cooling load max. 10 W/m2
- Pressurization Test Result at 50 Pa with air change rates being limited to n50 = 0.6/h
- Total Primary Energy Renewable demand max. 60 kWh/m2a
- Maximum 10% of the time throughout the whole year the inside temperature can be above 25°C
Structures and windows
The most important component of a passive home is the window, and there are several ways to increase its R value. For example, passive houses are oriented to receive as much natural light and heat as possible, and windows with a high solar heat gain coefficient are often located on southern walls. Overhangs can help reduce summer heat gain, but overhangs alone will not completely block the sun. The window frame is another component of a passive house.
Choosing window and door styles for a passive home is crucial, since the building envelope is not just made up of walls. The selection of windows and doors should optimize energy efficiency and reduce utility bills. Passive house windows should also be wide and have a steel frame to ensure structural strength and reduce heat loss. The choice of window frames is a key component of a Passive House design, and Pella windows meet the highest industry standards for air infiltration. Windows must also be properly installed, as the perimeter seal should be complete between the wall and window frame.
What does R value mean
If you are planning a new home, the R-value of insulation will be a key component in its efficiency and overall success. While the term may seem foreign, it is actually a simple formula for determining the efficiency of a given building. Here’s a closer look at R-values and what they mean for sustainable passive homes. The insulation of your home is an important factor in regulating temperature levels. In order to maintain comfort, it needs a suitable amount and type for each season! The higher-quality products have higher R values which make them better at keeping heat inside during cold months or outside when summers get too hot.
As a result, Passive Houses do not require any specific building approaches or equipment. In fact, these buildings are often eligible for certain tax credits, depending on the region and its climate. In the United Kingdom, a grant program helps pay for energy-efficient homes.