The Passive House Approach to CO2 Emissions, Durability, and Adaptability
Simply put, Passive House buildings are designed and built to last. Due to their envelope first approach and their airtight planning and execution, buildings built to the Passive House standard are unaffected by moisture damage and the build-up of mould caused by it.
Let us go back to the very first Passive House constructed in 1991. It has shown that, by adhering to the transparent and easy-to-check quality assurance procedures employed by the Passive House standard, it was still performing as planned all these years later. Thus proving that from the very beginning Passive Houses have made durability one of their strongest characteristics.
As mentioned previously, Passive House is a performance-based, envelope first building standard with a proven track record in reducing the heating and cooling demands of buildings by up to 90%.
This not only means that it drastically cuts the operative emissions of buildings but due to the way it was thought out, the Passive House approach also supports the uptake of renewable energy. This makes Diana Ürge-Vorsatz’ (a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) statement all the more accurate: “Passive House is one of the rare solutions where you can have your cake and eat it too”.
What are the principles of a Passive House? Put simply they are:
- The use of high-quality windows
- Climate applicable insulation
- Avoidance of thermal bridges
- Account for sufficient ventilation
These principles, which are rooted in building physics, give the Passive House standard international applicability, perfect for new build or retrofitting projects. The type of buildings that can make use of the Passive House mindset are so diverse it can include indoor swimming pools, schools, hospitals, or even factories.
Because Passive House is not an architectural design but simply a quality standard, it makes it amenable to any kind of architectural style or locally sourced building materials. Put simply, Passive House can adapt to the needs of a project, no matter the climate or local environment.