Having A Certified Passive House Built

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If you want to have a passive house then you need to invest in all the right materials as well as a certified passive house builder. There are a lot of things a passive house needs to meet in order for it to qualify as a passive house, so when designing those design principles need to be stuck to in order to achieve certification. Here is a look at what needs to be achieved.

  1. The humidity levels indoors in a certified passive house cannot go over 12 g/kg for longer than 20% of the time when the home is occupied.
  2. The temperature of the air cannot go over 25 degrees celsius for more than 10% of the time when the house is occupied so that the temperatures remain at a comfortable level on hot summer days.
  3. The minimum requirement for passive houses with airtightness is 0.6 ACH. ACH is a way of measuring the tightness of a building and looks at its energy efficiency, build quality and leakiness. ACH stands for air changes per hour, the lower the ACH number, the better. With an airtight build, you have a home with a controlled environment with no draughts and better thermal comfort.
  4. Dehumidification demand needs to be at 15kWh or m2.yr and spice cooling load should be at 10W/m2. This is the demand placed on the cooling system to keep the home at a comfortable and consistent temperature all year. What comes to play are things like the building fabric thermal performance, the outside air ventilation and the air permeability.
  5. The yearly primary energy demand requirement is at 120kWh/m2.yr. If dealing with renewables then it is a goal of 60kWh/m2.yr. This is the total demand in energy the house will make including lighting, ventilation, cooling and heating, hot water, equipment load and more.
  6. Yearly space heating demand for certified green home builders to achieve is 15kWh/m2.yr. For alternative space heating load it is 10W/m2. This is the demand on the heating system in the house so that a consistent temperature is maintained all year as this is better for energy efficiency and for living in comfort.

Certification as a passive house

There is not just a certified passive house builder to look for, in order to be certified as a passive house you need to have an accredited building certifier involved in its design and in assessing the final thing. By having a certifier involved from the planning stages you can better ensure problem areas are seen and solved at the point where it is possible to do so. Before starting any construction the relevant documents and data are submitted. Then the certifier can offer feedback and information about corrections they say are required.

Using passive house components                       

There are products that certified green home builders should use in their build that make them more suitable for passive house building. A list of such certified products include;

  • Window frames
  • Wall and construction systems
  • Window connections
  • Insulation systems for floor slabs
  • Exhaust systems
  • Skylights and windows for roofs
  • Window glazing
  • Compact heat pumps
  • Facade anchors
  • Balcony connections and roof parapet connections
  • Sliding and front doors
  • External blinds and roller shutters
  • Mechanical ventilation systems
  • Rail and post facades

Bio – We‘re a small domestic building business with more than ten years’ experience in residential construction. We specialise in passive house building, energy efficient building, high performance building and green building. What sets our company apart, and the reason our clients choose us to renovate or extend their home, is that we do one house at a time, from start to completion.

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By Cary Grant

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