How to design a Passive House


If you are looking to get started in Passive House design, you probably already understand the concept, but if not, first take a look at The Realities of Living in a Passive House, where the theory and the reality are explored.

Below are some more useful links and resources for Passive House design, ranging from the planning and design side, to the fully realised, bricks-and-mortar (or should that be insulation-and-seals?) side of things.

The concept
• Mark Siddall of Devereux Architects explains how simple the PassivHaus concept is and why it ‘is arguably THE low energy, low carbon design standard’.

A certified Passivhaus and part of the Welsh Future Homes Project

BRE provides a simple comparison between the outline specification of the PassivHaus standard and UK new-build common practice. Notice the wide gap.
Passive House Planning Package – a clearly structured design tool that can be used directly by architects and designers.
• The Passive house Construction Check List from the German PassivHaus institute makes it easier to reach certified passive house standards by listing the most important steps in the process, and particularly draw the attention to the quality control process that must accompany the passive house construction process.

Passive house conference 2006

The standards are voluntary but rigorous.
• BRE oversees the PCScheme (PassivHaus Certification for Certified Designers and Consultants).
• Three key tests are carried out- the first being an initial energy calculation carried out in the Passive House Planning Package by a passive house designer, resulting in a passive house assessment report.
A blower door test in the US, sometimes referred to as pressure testing / air permeability testing in the UK. (more info from a UK provider of PH testing services)
• The final quality checks by a qualified PH Certifier, after which the project is certified as an approved passive house.

Hudson Passive House image courtesy of BASF. Neopor® insulation used in Hudson Passive House by Dennis Wedlick Architect LLC

• The Passive House Institute in Darmstadt, Germany, founded by PassivHaus co-originator Professor Wolfgang Feist.
• BRE UK Passive House hub
International Passive House Association.
Passivhaus UK, part of the BRE.

Refurbished with passive house components, kindergarten in Estonia Valga

Other resources
The Passive House magazine
PassiPedia is a website dedicated to PH definitions, technical details, knowledge, news, performance stats, residents’ experiences etc.
Certified Passive house designer course

USACE delivers 106 environmentally sustainable townhouses to Ansbach military community

UK Projects
• Y Foel, passive house in Wales
The Crossway Passivhaus, by Richard Hawkes and featured on Grand Designs. See also this article by the certifier.
• Tygh-Na-Cladach, the UKs first affordable passive housing, designed by Professor Gokay Deveci. Again, certified by SPHC.
• The Lime House at The Works, Ebbw Vale. A certified Passivhaus and part of the Welsh Future Homes Project. Further details on the BRE website

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One Response to “How to design a Passive House”

  1. How simple the PassivHaus concept is | iPHM international Passive House Magazine - 100% hand picked news Says:

    […] Read more  >> […]

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