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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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Researchers of the UGR apply the method of acoustic emission to building diagnose, restoration and maintenance

Although their voice is imperceptible, even stones scream when they are damaged. They emit an ultrasound that reveals the state of health of the building or construction they support and they can even tell where the damage is and what can happen in future if we do not deal with the problem.
A research team of the University School of Technical Architecture of the University of Granada [http://www.ugr.es], supervised by professor Antolino Gallego... 27.10.2006 | nachricht Read more

A UGR researcher proposes a formula to measure the seismic resistance of reinforced concrete buildings

Reinforced concrete is one of the most used materials in Spanish constructions. Foreseeing the behaviour of this kind of structures in case of earthquake becomed vital when they are placed in seismic areas such as Granada.
Recently, it has been suggested a new formula, confirmed with numerical simulations, which is going to make the prediction of the seismic resistance of... 23.10.2006 | nachricht Read more

The UGR participates in a European project to prevent damages provoked by salts in historical buildings

Salt crystallization is one of the main problems of world heritage. Their effects are devastating to such an extent that the can even provoke the loss of sculptural, pictorial and ornamental material.
However, despite the last achievements in the field of restoration, up to now they have failed to design effective measures to fight against this problem. In... 13.10.2006 | nachricht Read more

Fraunhofer institutes demonstrate tomorrow's architectural design tools

On 13 - 14 November, Fraunhofer institutes FIT and IAIS organize an international workshop on Virtual and Augmented Reality In Architectural Design.
Participants will meet some of today's leading architects to discuss ongoing developments, they can explore 3D models of some ancient buildings and a few still... 11.10.2006 | nachricht Read more

Radiocarbon testing challenges understanding of ancient Hawaiian architecture, social complexity

Changes to temple architecture reveal shift from ancestral to sacrificial worship
The development of monumental architecture and social complexity on the Hawaiian island of Maui occurred over a span of at least 500 years, according to the... 03.08.2006 | nachricht Read more

Laying the foundations for a green industry

Australian university researchers have developed a strong, lightweight building material that they believe could generate a thriving new "green" industry for countries such as China and India.
Coal-burning power plants spend millions of dollars disposing of waste fly ash, a fine powder loaded with toxic chemicals. An estimated 200 million tonnes of... 02.08.2006 | nachricht Read more

SRS Researchers Test Chinese Tallow Tree For Use in Building Materials

A preliminary study by USDA FS Southern Research Station (SRS) researchers and cooperators shows that Chinese tallow tree, a nonnative invasive plant in the southeastern United States, holds promise as a material for bio-based composite building panels. In a technical note in the June 2006 issue of Forest Products Journal, the researchers report positive results from tests on 3 different types of panels made from Chinese tallow tree.
Because Chinese tallow tree grows rapidly, has seeds rich in oils, abundant flowers, and colorful fall foliage, it has been widely planted both as an... 27.07.2006 | nachricht Read more

New environmental test facility helps manufacturers improve indoor air quality

As scientists learn more about the potentially harmful effects of indoor air pollution, nations around the world are imposing increasingly strict regulations on chemical emissions from furnishings, paints and building materials.
As scientists learn more about the potentially harmful effects of indoor air pollution, nations around the world are imposing increasingly strict regulations on chemical emissions from furnishings, paints and building materials. Using a new room-sized environmental test chamber, more than a dozen smaller chambers and a mass spectrometric center able to measure ultra-trace concentrations of airborne chemicals being emitted from products, scientists at the Georgia Tech Research In 13.03.2006 | nachricht Read more

MIT tool may reveal architectural past

A computer design tool originally created for animation may soon unlock the secrets of the structure of ancient cathedrals, according to MIT Assistant Professor John Ochsendorf of architecture.
A computer design tool originally created for animation may soon unlock the secrets of the structure of ancient cathedrals, according to MIT Assistant Professor John Ochsendorf of architecture. A structural engineer specializing in architectural and construction history, Ochsendorf recently presented to colleagues a virtual design method that has been extended in novel ways by a team of architects, computer scientists and engineers at MIT. "This is the kind of work - crossi 09.03.2006 | nachricht Read more

New Composite Material Developed for Light-Weight Building

Scientists at the Technische Universität Dresden/Germany have been developing an innovative composite material – “textile reinforced concrete“ – which is to serve for the structural reinforcement of buildings. For seven years now, more than 50 scientists from eight institutes have been collaborating in a research project entitled “Textile Reinforcements for Structural Strengthening and Repair“. The project has been funded by the German Research Foundation which has approved of the project’s t 22.12.2005 | nachricht Read more
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Solving the mystery of quantum light in thin layers

A very special kind of light is emitted by tungsten diselenide layers. The reason for this has been unclear. Now an explanation has been found at TU Wien (Vienna)

It is an exotic phenomenon that nobody was able to explain for years: when energy is supplied to a thin layer of the material tungsten diselenide, it begins to...

Im Focus: An ultrafast glimpse of the photochemistry of the atmosphere

Researchers at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich have explored the initial consequences of the interaction of light with molecules on the surface of nanoscopic aerosols.

The nanocosmos is constantly in motion. All natural processes are ultimately determined by the interplay between radiation and matter. Light strikes particles...

Im Focus: Shaping nanoparticles for improved quantum information technology

Particles that are mere nanometers in size are at the forefront of scientific research today. They come in many different shapes: rods, spheres, cubes, vesicles, S-shaped worms and even donut-like rings. What makes them worthy of scientific study is that, being so tiny, they exhibit quantum mechanical properties not possible with larger objects.

Researchers at the Center for Nanoscale Materials (CNM), a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science User Facility located at DOE's Argonne National...

Im Focus: Novel Material for Shipbuilding

A new research project at the TH Mittelhessen focusses on the development of a novel light weight design concept for leisure boats and yachts. Professor Stephan Marzi from the THM Institute of Mechanics and Materials collaborates with Krake Catamarane, which is a shipyard located in Apolda, Thuringia.

The project is set up in an international cooperation with Professor Anders Biel from Karlstad University in Sweden and the Swedish company Lamera from...

Im Focus: Controlling superconducting regions within an exotic metal

Superconductivity has fascinated scientists for many years since it offers the potential to revolutionize current technologies. Materials only become superconductors - meaning that electrons can travel in them with no resistance - at very low temperatures. These days, this unique zero resistance superconductivity is commonly found in a number of technologies, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Future technologies, however, will harness the total synchrony of electronic behavior in superconductors - a property called the phase. There is currently a...

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