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PASSIVE HOUSE DESIGN
We are a Certified Passive House Designer and can create a thermal model of your project to determine it's expected performance.
> Building Orientation and Shading
While Passive House projects are not dependent on solar gains to achieve thermal comfort and energy efficiency, they still benefit from careful consideration of the impact of sun paths and shading by other buildings, trees or mountains. The aim is to ensure that any solar gains will make a positive contribution towards meeting Passive House targets without the risk of overheating.
> Building Size and Shape
The complexity of a building’s thermal envelope can have a significant effect on the insulation levels required to meet the Passive House standard. Firstly, a larger thermal envelope will transmit more heat per usable area, and secondly, a complex shape will involve more junctions that create difficulty and cost. Keep it simple!
> Insulation and Thermal Bridges
In a Passive House, all components of the building envelope must be well-insulated. Insulation comes in numerous forms, from batts to straw bales, from SIP panels to vacuum panels, and the choice of the material and its thickness depend on the local climate. In addition, all edges, corners, connections and penetrations must be planned with special attention in order to avoid thermal bridges.
> Windows and Doors
High-performance windows and doors are arguably the single most important component to get right in any Passive House project. Passive House certified windows are available in a number of different frame materials that satisfy strict criteria on thermal performance and airtightness.
Airtightness is central to attaining Passive House certification, but, most importantly, it is a key indicator of construction quality. Remember: a leaky building is not necessarily a breathable building and an airtight building is not automatically bad at managing moisture. Designing an airtight building with a healthy indoor environment and a robust, ‘breathable’ thermal envelope.
While a well-designed thermal envelope is key for achieving thermal comfort, getting the ventilation right is similarly important for feeling cosy and fresh inside. Mechanical ventilation is the easiest way to meet the energy goals in hot and cool climates, and a precondition for reliable indoor air quality in all climates.
> Hot Water & Heating
Heating systems in Passive House projects are generally a lot smaller than people expect! There are many different options available: small heat pumps, direct electric or conventional boilers. Oversizing the heating system can be a waste of money and efficiency. You need very little heat in a Passive House, so keep the heating system small, efficient, responsive and simple!
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