What does it mean when a house is called passive?
It's all in the numbers: A house is deemed 'passive' when it's energy consumption is less than 15 kWh / m2 per year.
Thanks to the excellent properties of VELOX building systems it's possible to build passive houses. In preparation of the overall design of the building and the subsequent detailed solutions, one must take into account the need for consistently low energy consumption. The energy performance of the building will affect (to varying degrees depending on the nature of the particular project), the following:
- Selection of building land.
- Orientation of the building with regard to the impact of direct sunlight during the year.
- Present and future anticipated shading from surrounding buildings, terrain and vegetation.
- Prevailing wind direction.
- The shape of the building (compactness of the overall surface) which is most easily expressed in geometric characteristics, ie the ratio between the cooled surface of the building envelope and the heated volume (lower values are usually more favourable).
- Thermal bridges in the structure and significant thermal bonds between structures caused by any conceptual limitations of the building design.
- Internal arrangements with regard to compliance of heating modes, thermal zones and orientation of spaces.
- Size of heated and indirect heated floor area (volume) and appropriateness for purpose.
- Size of external glass surfaces.
- Expected internal heat gains by nature of intended use.
- External connections.
Taking these points into account, it is possible to propose a building solution that effectively achieves low power consumption, with low investment costs and a low environmental burden throughout the lifecycle of the building.
To maximise low energy performance it is usually best to influence the development of the overall concept in the preparatory phase of the project, especially when coordinating the functional elements of the load-bearing design. Such an approach should be achieved in part by the balance of volume and the design of technological and structural solutions with low energy performance in mind.
It is possible to build passive houses thanks to the excellent properties of VELOX building systems.
The overall concept of a passive house must take into account the need for consistently low energy consumption making VELOX an ideal solution.