We value your privacy. We use cookies to give you the best experience. By using our website you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Read our cookie policy to find out what cookies we use.

I agree I aggre

Let's find what you're looking for

    Passivhaus
    Everything you need to know

    arrow Back to blog 23rd June 2017

    Passivhaus – known as ‘Passive House’ in Europe – is becoming one of the world’s fastest-growing standards in the field of energy performance. With over 30,000 buildings having met the standard since it was introduced, there’s no better time to learn more about the benefits of a Passivhaus approach.

    Where did Passivhaus start?

    The standards were first developed in Germany during the early 90s by two professors: Bo Adamson of Sweden and Wolfgang Feist of Germany. In 1991, the first dwellings to meet the Passivhaus standard were constructed.

     

    The beauty of Passivhaus is the relative simplicity of its goals: to build houses with outstanding thermal performance, exceptional airtightness and mechanical ventilation.

     

    By working to robust and efficient designs, the ‘Heating Demand’ of the house is far lower than in traditional builds – indeed, in some Passivhaus designs the only form of conventional heating is a heated towel rail.

    Is it just a residential standard?

    No; the Passivhaus standards can also apply to commercial, industrial and public buildings. As a result of this, the following functional definition of a Passivhaus was released:

     

    “A Passivhaus is a building, for which thermal comfort can be achieved solely by post-heating or post-cooling of the fresh air mass, which is required to achieve sufficient indoor air quality conditions – without the need for additional recirculation of air.”

     

    Essentially, a traditional heating system is no longer considered essential in a Passivhaus. The need for cooling systems is also minimised via the same principles, through careful use of shading and – in some cases – the pre-cooling of supplied air.

     

    During the summer months, the use of natural cross-ventilation through open windows (combined with night purging) helps to keep the temperature stable.

     

    One of the hallmarks of the Passivhaus – in addition to energy performance – is providing outstanding air quality through reducing the air infiltration rates and providing air filtered and post-heated by the MVHR unit.

     

    Isn’t such a standard going to be limited by the local climate?

    Not at all. Indeed, the Passivhaus Standard has been applied to buildings in areas as diverse as Australia, Japan, China, Canada, the USA as well as every country in Europe. Even Antarctica boasts a research station built to the necessary standards.

    How does this relate to architects?

    Simply that they need to focus on the standards of the materials they specify for the builds if they wish to meet the Passivhaus standards. The recommended U-values under the standard, for instance, are as follows:

    • Walls, floors and roofs – 0.15 W/m2K
    • Complete windows installations – 0.85 W/m2K.

    (These are the maximum acceptable levels, mind you, and in some situations they may need to be improved upon).

    How do Sunsquare support Passivhaus?

    The efficiency of Sunsquare’s thermally broken frames contribute significantly to the low overall U value of our rooflights. Our Aero range contains three separate Polyamide thermal breaks in the sub frame and has a double run of seals creating one of the most airtight opening rooflights on the market.

     

    We actually have a product display at the BRE centre in Watford, and our Aero range features a specialist double run of seals which is ideal for meeting the standard in this area.

    How does it limit construction methods?

    For the most part, it doesn’t. Indeed, the Passivhaus Designer Guide notes that ‘virtually all’ conventional construction methods can be successfully used to meet the Standard, including:

    • Masonry
    • Timber frames
    • Off-site prefabricated elements
    • Insulated concrete formwork
    • Steel
    • Straw bale
    • Hybrid constructions
    • Air permeability
    • Multiple thermal breaks where suitable

    Where can Passivhaus certification and advice be obtained?

    In the UK, Passivhaus are contactable at the following address:

    Passivhaus

    BRE

    Bucknalls Lane

    Watford

    Hertfordshire

    WD25 9XX

     

    They are able to provide expert advice on every aspect of a build, including:

    • Design concept and strategy
    • Low energy design advice
    • Construction techniques
    • Thermal modelling
    • As well as general advice.

     

    Certification is obtained through BRE, who’s registered with the Passivhaus Institute, and are the UK’s official Certifier for Passivhaus Buildings. They’re able to carry out:

    • Pre-assessments
    • Full Building Certifications
    • Reduced rate certification through their Passivhaus Certification Scheme (PCS) for qualified CEPH Designers

    Get in touch

    We’re specialists in ensuring projects go swimmingly, and can ensure you stay in line with any necessary legislation, allowing you to start enjoying your new rooflight. Give Sunsquare a call today.

    Sign up for our whitepaper on building regulations

    Written to help architects, surveyors and home improvers alike understand every UK building regulations.

    Share this guide

    Want to know more

    If you want to know more about this or anything else then get in contact.

    Call us on +44 (0)1284 723377

    Email sales@sunsquare.co.uk

    refine search

    All
    Events
    News
    Skylights and rooflights

    13 June 2019

    Another industry first for skylight pioneers Sunsquare

    Sunsquare has not only achieved the Kitemark accreditation for another 3 years, but the ISO9001 and ISO14001 accreditations with no non-conformities.

    Read morearrow
    sunsquare at grand designs live 2019

    16 April 2019

    Sunsquare set to exhibit at Grand Designs Live 2019

    Sunsquare is pleased to announce its appearance at the upcoming Grand Designs Live 2019 in London. The team will be exhibiting the brand’s full range of BSI Kitemarked, thermally broken skylights and roof lanterns from stand B150 at the ExCeL London from 4th – 12th May 2019.

    Read morearrow
    sun square to exhibit at ideal homes show 2019

    12 March 2019

    Join Sunsquare at the Ideal Home Show 2019

    If you’re looking for inspiration for your latest renovation, design or architectural project, the Ideal Home Show is perfect. Thousands of people will flock to Olympia London to explore a huge range of exhibitions, featuring trend-setting products, inspiring décor, expert panel discussions, live seminars, and much more.

    Read morearrow
    sun square attend brexit business meeting

    11 March 2019

    Sunsquare attend Brexit Business Roundtable

    On 22nd February 2019 Sunsquare took part in a Brexit business roundtable. This prestigious event was attended by Chris Heaton-Harris MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Exiting the European Union.

    Read morearrow
    RIBA Architects Optimistic About Future Workloads

    21 October 2018

    RIBA Architects Optimistic About Future Workloads

    Continuing positive trends recorded in 2018 so far, the latest RIBA Future Trends Workload Index rose from +13 in April…

    Read morearrow
    UK Builders and Homeowners Support Licensing for Construction Industry

    16 October 2018

    UK Builders and Homeowners Support Licensing for Construction Industry

    Approximately 80% of builders and consumers would support the introduction of a mandatory licensing scheme for the UK construction industry. This was revealed in a research report titled License to Build: A Pathway to Licensing UK Construction, recently published by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).

    Read morearrow

    Sunsquare Accessories

    Find out morearrow

    Sunsquare Skylights

    Find out morearrow

    Since 2004, Sunsquare Limited has been pioneering skylight design

    Call us on +44 (0)1284 723377

    Why choose Sunsquare