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What is a Passive House?

 Passive Houses are houses which require the minimum amount of energy to heat and run.

Passive house is a building standard that is energy efficient, comfortable, affordable and ecological at the same time. There are different interpretations on what constitutes a ‘Passive House’.

The definition of a ‘Passive House’ as determined by the Passivhaus Institut in Darmstadt, Germany, is as follows:          

  • Maximum annual primary energy requirement of 120kWh per square metre (domestic hot water, heating and auxiliary electricity): 120kWh/(m2a)   
  • Maximum annual space heating requirement of 15kWh per square metre: 15kWh/(m2a)
  • Minimum airtightness of 0.6 air changes per hour measured at a pressure of 50 Pascal: n50 0.6 1/h
  • Optimal heat load of 10 W per square metre: 10W/m2

To obtain Passive House Certification you need to achieve the first three items outlined. If you want to heat your home by way of a mechanical ventilation system you will need to achieve the Optimal Heat load.