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What is a passive house and how is the architecture designed?

There are many reasons to build a passive house. The most important are related to the cost advantages you enjoy by building a passive house. The architecture of a passive house is designed so that the basic needs of the home owner, with respect to energy supply, are autonomously controlled. As the term "passive" implies, regulating the energy balance requires no action on your part. This capability stems from the architecture of the house. Roughly 8,000 people in Germany have meanwhile taken advantage of this architecture to build a passive house. But how does a passive house function and what is the respective architecture basically made of? The architecture is typically designed so that the outer shell of the passive house is insulated to keep the heat from escaping outside.

The passive house runs on its own

When building a passive house, a ventilation system acts to additional recover 80 percent of the heat. The roof of a passive house is designed to capture additional heat and store it until the room temperature sinks enough so that it must be released. Related studies have shown that a passive house constantly maintains an indoor temperature of more than 20°C at an outside temperature of -14°C. A passive house provides the freedom to individualize the architecture. The owner can decide whether to build the house out of concrete/brick, wood or a combination. The architecture always depends on the architect and the individual plan. However, there are several factors to consider when building a passive house.

The characteristics of a passive house thanks to its architecture

Passive houses exhibit specific characteristics that are tied to the architecture. The external building components must be extremely well insulated in addition to carefully constructing the corners, edges, joints and other cross sections. This would otherwise lead to excessive heat loss and failure of the architecture to fulfill the desired requirements. By taking these factors into account and using the right approach to building a passive house, one can expect a minimal heat loss of only .15 watts per square meter of external surface area. If you are building a house, the architecture should be designed to maximize the energy gain through the solar cells. For this reason, the solar cells on the roof of the passive house must have a southerly orientation.

To build a passive house, it should be designed such that the respective solar collectors and heat pumps supply power to the hot water system. When building a passive house and using the appropriate architecture, you can expect to significantly lower your operating costs.

Lower the operating costs

The architecture is what makes it possible for you to build a passive house and to have a complete energy system that runs on its own. While more and more people are dreaming of building a house, it always involves high costs. With the right architecture, you can build a passive house assuming that you will benefit from significantly lower monthly operating costs. This approach allows you to build to a house that runs completely on its own thanks to the corresponding high-quality architecture . Because the architecture is so well thought-out, you can build this house under the assumption that the heating balance will regulate itself. For this reason, you can assume that building a house is a worthwhile effort.

Architecture and Construction

Here you can discover new and innovative developments from the world of building design and construction.

innovations-report offers reports and articles on a variety of topics such as building optimization, modern construction materials, energy-efficient construction, natural insulation materials and passive buildings.

Latest News:

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70-foot-long, 52-ton concrete bridge survives series of simulated earthquakes

University of Nevada, Reno's new Earthquake Engineering Lab hosts multiple-shake-table experiments

A 70-foot-long, 52-ton concrete bridge survived a series of earthquakes in the first multiple-shake-table experiment in the University of Nevada, Reno's new...

17.07.2014 | nachricht Read more

Improving the stability of clay for construction

This research focused on making soft clay more stable to facilitate construction. Researchers at the Universiti Teknologi MARA mixed clay with various waste materials to enhance its engineering quality.

This research set out to improve the engineering quality of clay using waste materials and a secret binder ingredient.

08.07.2014 | nachricht Read more

New bridge design improves earthquake resistance, reduces damage and speeds construction

Researchers have developed a new design for the framework of columns and beams that support bridges, called "bents," to improve performance for better resistance to earthquakes, less damage and faster on-site construction.

The faster construction is achieved by pre-fabricating the columns and beams off-site and shipping them to the site, where they are erected and connected...

02.07.2014 | nachricht Read more

Architectural researcher to tell conferees in Germany how 'living roofs' help build better cities

Hot town, summer in the city — it's nothing new, but ways to handle the heat, humidity, and stormwater haven’t changed much since the invention of the sewer system.

One solution offered by architectural researchers is known as a “green roof” — a roof covered in living, growing plants to soften the effects of heat,...

10.06.2014 | nachricht Read more

Heraeus Carbon Infrared Oven Improves Powder Coating Flexibility and Quality at SFS Intec

A three-zone, carbon infrared medium wave oven from Heraeus Noblelight is helping SFS Intec to improve the flexibility and quality of its powder coating operations.

It has allowed the Leeds-based company to change powder curing from a continuous to a batch operation, so that it can now respond more quickly to customer...

05.06.2014 | nachricht Read more

Cleaning the Air with Roof Tiles

Students develop titanium dioxide roof tile coating that removes up to 97 percent of smog-causing nitrogen oxides

A team of University of California, Riverside’s Bourns College of Engineering students created a roof tile coating that when applied to an average-sized...

05.06.2014 | nachricht Read more

Laying pipelines in a more environmentally friendly manner

New process requires less space and saves costs

The near-surface installation of pipelines usually causes massive disturbance to the environment. It can create corridors up to 50 metres wide. The BINE...

02.06.2014 | nachricht Read more

Building Stronger Bridges

Structures lab fulfills private, public needs

It all comes down to bridging a gap.

23.04.2014 | nachricht Read more

Studying the behaviour of steel tubes filled with concrete foam

UiTM researchers have found that steel tubes filled with foam concrete was inferior in strength as compared to that of normal concrete.

A team of researchers from the Faculty of Civil Engineering, UiTM, studied the use of foam concrete as infill for steel tubes that were used in construction.

31.03.2014 | nachricht Read more

“TEK-Tool” software supports energy consultants

Rapid analysis of complex existing buildings in terms of their energy utilisation

Until now, analysing the weak spots of the architecture and building services equipment of existing non-residential buildings has been a very labour-intensive...

17.03.2014 | nachricht Read more
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Mysterious molecules in space

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Over the vast, empty reaches of interstellar space, countless small molecules tumble quietly though the cold vacuum. Forged in the fusion furnaces of ancient...

Im Focus: From Finding Nemo to minerals – what riches lie in the deep sea?

As fishing and the harvesting of metals, gas and oil have expanded deeper and deeper into the ocean, scientists are drawing attention to the services provided by the deep sea, the world’s largest environment.

“This is the time to discuss deep-sea stewardship before exploitation is too much farther underway,” says lead-author Andrew Thurber. In a review published...

Im Focus: A transistor-like amplifier for single photons

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Im Focus: New mass map of a distant galaxy cluster is the most precise yet

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Vibrate a solution of rod-shaped metal nanoparticles in water with ultrasound and they'll spin around their long axes like tiny drill bits. Why?

No one yet knows exactly. But researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have clocked their speed—and it's fast. At up to 150,000...

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