What is a Passivhaus?
The Passivhaus standard, developed in Germany, is a low energy design standard.
It was developed in 1990, over 25 years ago and some estimates suggest there are well over 50,000 Passivhaus buildings around the world.
Some of the key characteristics of a Passivhaus include:
•Excellent levels of thermal comfort
•Very low energy demands
•Provision of consistent fresh air throughout the building
•High levels of insulation
•Low energy costs
The Passivhaus has rigorous design standards and can be certified to prove the building has been designed to the assured Passivhaus criteria.
The Passivhaus design methods can be adopted for new build designs, both residential and commercial, and on retrofit buildings of all types. There is in depth guidance associated with the different types of Passivhaus build and different certifications according to new build or retrofit status. A Passivhaus can be built using virtually any construction method, from concrete and masonry to timber frame.
What is a Passivhaus certification?
Passivhaus certification is an independent process that ensures Passivhaus standard for complete buildings, building components and building designers and contractors. Certification can be seen as the formal assessment and approval of the quality of a project, or component.
Certification of a building
Certification is carried out by the Passivhaus Institute or any other accredited certifier. The process is designed to ensure the high standards and performance of the Passivhaus has been achieved, from design through to completion.
The certification is based on the calculations from the PHPP, along with supporting documentation such as plans, details, manufacturer/component information, air tightness testing, and commissioning information for the mechanical ventilation with heat recovery unit (MVHR).
The EnerPHit standard applies to existing buildings that have been renovated to improve thermal comfort, energy efficiency and many of the other elements of the Passivhaus standard.
Certification of a building component
When designing a Passivhaus it can be extremely helpful to specify building components that have been certified by the Passivhaus Institute. This certification means that the component will be of a suitable standard for use in a Passivhaus, but will most likely have all of the technical information available that will need to be entered into the PHPP.
How Passivhaus works
Thermal Bridge Free
One of our readers Tim Maisey [https://www.tmcgproductions.com/architecture-portfolio] has very kindly shared some images of a Passivhaus under construction.