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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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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

INM working with Namibia to develop sustainable building materials from natural resources

Researchers from the Saarland and Africa will be developing adhesives obtained from natural resources and using them to produce sustainable building materials.

The INM – Leibniz Institute for New Materials is starting out on a joint pilot project with Namibia. Researchers from the Saarland and Africa will be...

13.03.2014 | nachricht Read more

Manufacturing in the City?

Urban manufacturing is not just good for companies

What strategies and concepts are required to ensure city-based manufacturing gives all its stakeholders added value? The Urban Production innovation network...

05.03.2014 | nachricht Read more

CFD has it all wrapped up

Wrapped in a tightly meshed grid, the volunteer is enveloped by lots of little cells that tuck snugly around the body, filling all the available space.

Scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics IBP want to understand every little detail, and so have every millimeter covered. Because they...

03.03.2014 | nachricht Read more

Producing electricity with concentrated sunlight

Constructing solar thermal power plants more efficiently and cheaply

The use of high-temperature solar heat for generating electricity has become an established technology. Scientists are now currently working on further...

26.02.2014 | nachricht Read more

Assessing windows with a mobile measurement device

New software calculates energy savings
Until now, planners have lacked suitable tools for assessing whether to replace windows when refurbishing buildings. The newly published BINE-Projektinfo... 23.12.2013 | nachricht Read more

Laser Processing of Glass Materials has a high growth Potential

At the workshop „Laser Processing of Glass Materials“ more than 70 researchers, users and manufacturers met on November 26, 2013, to exchange ideas on current developments and trends.
Glass processing using the laser is state of the art in many industrial areas, and as in the past, it has a high potential for further technology fields, for... 12.12.2013 | nachricht Read more

Curtain wall façade of laminated glass with high strength DuPont™ SentryGlas® interlayer maximises safety for ...

... Vienna's Ares Tower
At 26 stories and around 100 m tall, the Ares Tower, completed in 2001, is one of Vienna's tallest buildings. Its glass curtain wall façade of 2521 rectangular... 05.12.2013 | nachricht Read more

Highly insulating windows are very energy efficient, though expensive

While financial payback takes many years, comfort and other benefits are more immediate
Highly insulating triple-pane windows keep a house snug and cozy, but it takes two decades or more for the windows to pay off financially based on utility-bill... 04.12.2013 | nachricht Read more
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: World's first successful visualisation of key coenzyme

Japanese researchers have successfully developed the world's first imaging method for visualising the behaviour of nicotine-adenine dinucleotide derivative (NAD(P)H), a key coenzyme, inside cells. This feat could ultimately facilitate the diagnosis of cancer and liver dysfunction and help to elucidate the mechanisms of neurological disorders.  

A Japanese research team led by Drs. Hirokazu Komatsu and Katsuhiko Ariga of the International Center for Materials Nanoarchitectonics, in collaboration with...

Im Focus: Earthquake simulation tops one quadrillion flops: Computational record on SuperMUC

A team of computer scientists, mathematicians and geophysicists at Technische Universitaet Muenchen (TUM) and Ludwig-Maximillians Universitaet Muenchen (LMU) have – with the support of the Leibniz Supercomputing Center of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities (LRZ) – optimized the SeisSol earthquake simulation software on the SuperMUC high performance computer at the LRZ to push its performance beyond the “magical” one petaflop/s mark – one quadrillion floating point operations per second.

Geophysicists use the SeisSol earthquake simulation software to investigate rupture processes and seismic waves beneath the Earth’s surface. Their goal is to...

Im Focus: Odd Tilts Could Make More Worlds Habitable

Pivoting planets that lean one way and then change orientation within a short geological time period might be surprisingly habitable, according to new modeling by NASA and university scientists affiliated with the NASA Astrobiology Institute.

The climate effects generated on these wobbling worlds could prevent them from turning into glacier-covered ice lockers, even if those planets are somewhat far...

Im Focus: Perfect nanospheres using ultrashort laser pulses

The Nanophotonics Group of the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed a method to print nanoparticles made of different materials with controlled, reproducible sizes and to precisely deposit these particles on a receiver substrate.

As a result, for the first time, the scientists succeeded in generating and positioning perfectly round silicon nanoparticles with a diameter of 165 nm. This...

Im Focus: Researchers describe four new species of “killer sponges” from the deep sea

Killer sponges sound like creatures from a B-grade horror movie. In fact, they thrive in the lightless depths of the deep sea.

Scientists first discovered that some sponges are carnivorous about 20 years ago. Since then only seven carnivorous species have been found in all of the...

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