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Have you ever heard of a passive house? If you live in a big city with a lot of older housing, you likely haven’t heard of this relatively new innovation. A passive house is a cleverly-constructed building that allows for significant energy savings for both heating and cooling. Homeowners can save up to 90% on their energy bills when living in this kind of home.
In 1990, the first structure of this kind was built in Germany. Over the next three decades, the practice of building passive homes took off in countries like England, Scandinavia, Belgium, and Poland. Some countries outside of Europe also caught on. While green building & passive house NZ is on the rise, other countries still have very little exposure to these energy-saving homes.
Below, you can learn about the benefits of passive houses and why they are going to be a part of the next big housing trend.
They’re Meant to Last Generations
Passive homes only use about one-tenth of the heating and cooling energy that an average home does. Because of the minimal maintenance and upkeep demanded of a passive house, this kind of building can last for generations without needing costly repairs on its heating and cooling systems.
They Promote Good Air Quality
While everyone can benefit from good indoor air quality, it’s especially important to those with allergies, asthma, and diseases of the respiratory system.
Living in a passive house is a great way to ensure that your home’s indoor air quality is up to par. This building uses continuous low-volume ventilation to expel stale air from your living spaces and bring in filtered air.
As a result, your home will be practically free of airborne contaminants and toxins.
Contrary to popular belief, passive houses are actually affordable. They tend to cost more than an average home upfront in terms of per square footage.
The cost of your residence will vary greatly depending on where you live and which builder you go with. Average homes can start as low as $80-100 per square foot, while you probably won’t be able to find passive houses for less than $160 per square foot.
This upfront cost tends to scare a lot of home buyers away. Despite the hefty initial amount, you will experience long-term savings on your energy costs.
The passive housing industry, though small currently, is on the rise. It has its own institute called the Passive House Institute.
An architect can obtain Passive House Certification for a home if it meets the following requirements:
- Thermal insulation with a U-Value of 0.15 or less
- Ventilation heat recovery
- Airtightness of less than 0.6 to prevent air leakages
- Thermal bridging must be eliminated
This standardized system is great news for passive homes, as it only adds to their legitimacy and growing popularity.
This kind of building is very resilient. It offers optimal comfort in both the winter and summer. If the power goes out for any reason, you do not have to worry. The internal temperature will remain temperate while you get any power issues addressed.
A passive home offers a significant advantage compared to an average home. With an average home, your building would heat up (or allow cool air in, depending on the time of year) very quickly.
Passive Homes Are the New Future!
As you have seen, passive houses offer plenty of notable benefits. They promote sustainability, comfort, and practicality. Even though they have yet to take off in most parts of the world, efforts made by Germany, New Zealand, and a few other countries will soon pay off on a global scale.