What is a passive house?

Building a passive house saves heating costs and protects the environment

Fixed costs are expenses that a homeowner has to pay on a regular basis. Here only a few savings can be achieved in the short term. It is therefore important to act with foresight and to think about the running costs of the next few years. The heating costs, which can be reduced to almost zero with the construction of a passive house, offer great potential here.

How does a passive house differ from other houses?

What is a passive house?: passive

Build a passive house yourself

Houses can be divided and distinguished based on their energy consumption, from which the current heating costs can be taken or planned:

  • Non-renovated residential buildings, which are about 30 to 50 years old, require an average of about 300 kWh per square meter per year and make the difference to modern and modernized energy-saving or passive houses clear.
  • Low-rise houses may have a maximum consumption of 7 liters of heating oil (equivalent to about 70 kWh) per square meter per year and can be further subdivided according to the required heating energy. An example would be KfW Efficiency Houses 55 (<35 kWh) and KfW Efficiency Houses 40 (<25 kWh).
  • So-called 3-liter houses do not belong to a uniform classification and rather serve as a colloquial name of energy-saving houses with a maximum heating energy consumption of up to 3 L fuel oil (about 30 kWh) per square meter per year. The name comes from the trend of the 3-liter car.
  • Passive houses are the building standard with the lowest heating demand. With a consumption of less than 15 kWh per square meter per year, heating costs are barely significant.

Build a passive house - what should be considered?

What is a passive house?: heating

Passive houses use passive energy sources

Passive houses may not exceed a heating requirement of 15 kWh per square meter per year. Due to this fact, however, a house may not be called a passive house. In addition, there are conditions such as the restriction of the primary energy requirement of 120 kWh per square meter per year, a certified air-tightness (blower door test) and a special efficiency between applied and used energy. The exact values ​​can be found in the certification criteria of the passive house institute in Darmstadt.

Basically, a passive house does not differ from houses of another classification. Neither the design, the construction, nor the shape of the additional heating are prescribed and specified. With the appropriate construction measures, such as the modernization of the windows, sealing of the building envelope and a subsequent insulation even old houses can be converted into passive houses. Here, however, the costs incurred should be considered. More effective is the implementation of a passive house with a new building.

If you want to build a passive house or would like to build it yourself, you have to keep an eye on the costs and the cost-benefit-factor. The term passive house requires a special amount of work and mandatory tests that cause additional costs. Here it must be carefully weighed whether the increased effort pays off. Sometimes the costs pay off only after many years. A detailed breakdown of the costs incurred provides the advice of a prefabricated house company, such as CAL Classic House, with experience in passive house construction. Here you can show the differences to other classifications and above all compare the invested costs. The larger the planned house or the longer the use, the sooner the savings will pay off through a passive house. Not to be neglected is also the state funding in the form of a favorable financing, about which the contracted construction company can inform exactly. Without well-founded knowledge, it is hardly possible for the client to calculate and compare all values.

Advantages of a passive house

Of course, building a passive house does not just mean building ecologically and saving on heating costs in the long run. Passive houses improve the quality of living.

Imagine, you would like to relax with your favorite chair and a good book in a muted corner of the house to browse in peace. Outside walls mean in a poorly insulated house mostly cold walls and corners - cosiness is hard to find there and the cold shower that runs over one's back, is rarely due to the exciting thriller. A passive house knows no cold walls and even the outer corner between two outer walls is as comfortable as any other place in the house. You can even lay down on the floor to read without fear of loss of comfortable and even warmth. Passive houses are planned and implemented in such a way that they mostly use the heat generated in the house by cooking, electrical appliances or their own heat given off. Good insulation keeps these in the interior and the loss is minimal. This passive heat utilization reduces the permanent use of central heat sources and guarantees a uniform temperature level. Hot radiators and opposite cold walls are a thing of the past.

In order not to lose any heat due to the required ventilation and "disposal" of the used air, the use of a ventilation system with heat recovery is necessary. This deprives the used air of the used heating energy and passes it on to the supplied fresh air. A regular airing is no longer necessary. You can sit back and relax, enjoy your book and your passive house always stays fresh without wasting heating energy.

The construction of a passive house is thus not just a financial plan. It offers a pronounced living comfort, requires less heating and ventilation and is even more economical than any other building standards.

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Video Board: Passive House = 90% Home Energy Reduction!