How are Passive house’s more energy efficient and climate-friendly then typical homes?
Passive houses aim to achieve the highest level of energy efficiency and climate-consciousness by designing the homes function and style based on its geographical location, solar orientation, and climatic region. With these aspects in mind, the house is modelled by a Passive House Institute Certified Professional using the Passive House Planning Package (PHPP) to ensure the building will meet the high performance requirements of the Passive House Standard. A Passive House is characterized by having very high insulation levels in all of its assemblies and achieving excellent airtightness, resulting in minimal heat loss through the building envelope. With consideration of the building’s geographical location and orientation, thoughtful placement of windows and overhangs allow Passive Houses to maximize passive solar gains. High-efficiency heating and cooling systems, as well as heat recovery ventilation (HRV) systems, are incorporated to further reduce the amount of energy needed to heat and cool the home. The combination of high R-Value assemblies, passive solar design, and efficient HVAC systems, mean that Passive Houses use very little energy, and thus have very low emissions. Passive Houses consume up to 90 percent less heating and cooling energy than conventional buildings. Renewable energy systems such as solar photovoltaic (solar panels) are often installed so that the building generates all of its energy needs. With all of these features, Passive Houses produce little to no greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, making them sustainable and climate-friendly.