Passiv House

This week we looked at buildings as an envelope and how to create a passiv house.
We looked at the different ways that we get heat gain- with people as being one of them: (Others being direct solar, transmission due to temperature differences, plants, latent heat, lights and appliances):


I found this chart very interesting as it shows that it is especially important to think about the function of a building to decide how to heat it. If you are designing a gym, for example, then you have to have less additions of heat into it as the people themselves are a large heat gain.

In class we also talked about a passiv house- a house that has multi-layered construction that is energy efficient and uses less external energy and can be heated by the appliances within it. This was particularly interesting to me because in my studio at the moment I am looking at a passiv house and how to make a similar energy efficient house but one that is cheaper to make. One of the features of a passiv house is that it has triple glazing on the windows- this is something that is expensive to create but does reduce energy transfer. I therefore looked up the passiv haus standards and was looking up more information about them.


The basic principles of a passive house are:
– Good levels of insulation with minimal thermal bridges
– Passive solar gains and internal heat sources
– Excellent level of airtightness
– Good indoor air quality, provided by a whole house mechanical ventilation system with highly efficient heat recovery


This website has a lot of general information about the aims of a passive house and how the aim is to make them commercial and industrial- not just residential. I also found many examples of passive houses:


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