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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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Renovating a piece at a time

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Future City Lab_Stuttgart

University of Stuttgart starts “Reality Lab for Sustainable Mobility Culture“

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NUS Research Team Pioneers Novel Ultra Light-Weight Cloud Arch Architectural Technology for Sustainable Construction

A research team from the National University of Singapore (NUS) has developed Cloud Arch, an innovative, ultra-light architecture that will revolutionise the way large open public spaces, such as market, airport, stadium, concert hall, factory, are built.

This patent-pending technology is jointly developed by a research team led by Japanese architect Assistant Professor Shinya Okuda, who is from the NUS School...

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Select group of well-known partner firms in Europe and the Middle East to serve customers in a fast and professional manner

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Wireless Sensors and Flying Robots: A Way to Monitor Deteriorating Bridges

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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Research yields material made of single-atom layers that snap together like Legos


Physicists at the University of Kansas have fabricated an innovative substance from two different atomic sheets that interlock much like Lego toy bricks. The...

Im Focus: Cooling With the Coldest Matter in the World

Physicists at the University of Basel have developed a new cooling technique for mechanical quantum systems. Using an ultracold atomic gas, the vibrations of a membrane were cooled down to less than 1 degree above absolute zero. This technique may enable novel studies of quantum physics and precision measurement devices, as the researchers report in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.

Ultracold atomic gases are among the coldest objects in existence. Laser beams can be used to trap atoms inside a vacuum chamber and slow down their motion to...

Im Focus: Permafrost soil is possible source of abrupt rise in greenhouse gases at end of last ice age

Scientists from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) have identified a possible source of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases that were abruptly released to the atmosphere in large quantities around 14,600 years ago.

According to this new interpretation, the CO2 – released during the onset of the Bølling/Allerød warm period – presumably had their origin in thawing Arctic...

Im Focus: Small volcanic eruptions could be slowing global warming

Small volcanic eruptions might eject more of an atmosphere-cooling gas into Earth’s upper atmosphere than previously thought, potentially contributing to the recent slowdown in global warming, according to a new study.

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For the first time, scientists have vividly mapped the shapes and textures of high-order modes of Brownian motions--in this case, the collective macroscopic movement of molecules in microdisk resonators--researchers at Case Western Reserve University report.

The new technology holds promise for multimodal sensing and signal processing, and to develop optical coding for computing and other information-processing...

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