How does a Passive house benefit its owners?
First and foremost, you can expect meaningful energy savings. Building to the Passive House standard materially reduces the energy usage of a home.
Lower heating costs
Naturally, this equates to a lower cost for heating and cooling your home on an ongoing basis. Lower fuel bills - particularly in today’s uncertain and inflationary climate - are no small boon.
In the most extreme cases, owners of Passive Houses use just 10% of the energy of their non-Passive equivalents.
The ever-rising cost of fuel makes this calculation a simple one. Over the course of its lifespan, a Passive House will recoup the initial investment into its components and more, making it not only an efficient but affordable building standard.
No performance gapRigorous planning and certification processes means that there is usually little to no performance gap. Energy savings predicted from a Passive build are real, not just on-paper figures.
More durable buildings
No cold or damp spots means minimal condensation related damage, and a more durable building.
Passive houses are often designed to maximise sunlight for heating purposes without overheating the building.
Passive houses are inherently environmentally friendly
Says the Passipedia
website: “Passive House buildings are eco-friendly by definition: They use extremely little primary energy, leaving sufficient energy resources for all future generations without causing any environmental damage. The additional energy required for their construction [embodied energy] is insignificant compared with the energy they save later on. “
48% of emissions from buildings are generated from energy usage in existing homes - predominantly via fossil fuel boilers. 62% of energy usage emissions are produced by heating (UKGBC).
The Passive House concept is a sharp deviation from the traditional, unsustainable, carbon-heavy way we build, heat and run our homes. It represents an approach to building that is inherently geared towards sustainability - and is already making a material difference to the CO2 emissions of new builds and retrofit projects across Europe and the UK.
A degree of the energy used in Passive Houses is often generated from renewable resources - another feather in the cap of ecological credibility for the standard. Passive Houses are, as we have noted, very energy efficient. This means that a high proportion of their energy demand can be satisfied by renewable energy sources where, in ordinary, ‘inefficient’ houses, the effect would be minimal.
Installing photovoltaics in an inefficient house will not significantly mitigate the overall energy demand of the home. Conversely, in a Passive House, where the energy usage is already so low, energy produced by photovoltaics does make an important contribution.