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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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New homes rise from rubbish

Imagine if you could turn old rubbish into new houses.
That’s exactly what civil engineer Dr John Forth from the University of Leeds wants to achieve with the invention of a building block made almost entirely of... 03.04.2007 | nachricht Read more

Sustainable Student Village design competition launched

Bids are being sought from developers and architects for new student housing at the University of Bradford which will see a unique environmentally sustainable community built on its campus.
The University is seeking expressions of interest for the right to build and manage the University’s £22 million ‘Sustainable Student Village’. Bidders are... 16.11.2006 | nachricht Read more

Kent awarded £322k for study into the electro-magnetic architecture of buildings

Dr John Batchelor and Professor Ted Parker in the Department of Electronics, University of Kent, have received a grant of £322,910 from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to co-ordinate an investigation into the electro-magnetic architecture of buildings with the aim of better controlling indoor radio signal strengths.
Their research will ultimately improve wireless network access in offices and also security in prisons where the illicit use of mobile phones is widespread.

The project, which begins in January 2007, is in collaboration with the universities of Manchester (who received £228k) and Auckland (New Zealand), and the Police Information Technology Organisation which has pledged a further £30,000. This will bring the total funding for the project to £581,000 over three years.... 31.10.2006 | nachricht Read more

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

Im Focus: How to induce magnetism in graphene

Graphene, a two-dimensional structure made of carbon, is a material with excellent mechanical, electronic and optical properties. However, it did not seem suitable for magnetic applications. Together with international partners, Empa researchers have now succeeded in synthesizing a unique nanographene predicted in the 1970s, which conclusively demonstrates that carbon in very specific forms has magnetic properties that could permit future spintronic applications. The results have just been published in the renowned journal Nature Nanotechnology.

Depending on the shape and orientation of their edges, graphene nanostructures (also known as nanographenes) can have very different properties – for example,...

Im Focus: Electronic map reveals 'rules of the road' in superconductor

Band structure map exposes iron selenide's enigmatic electronic signature

Using a clever technique that causes unruly crystals of iron selenide to snap into alignment, Rice University physicists have drawn a detailed map that reveals...

Im Focus: Developing a digital twin

University of Texas and MIT researchers create virtual UAVs that can predict vehicle health, enable autonomous decision-making

In the not too distant future, we can expect to see our skies filled with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) delivering packages, maybe even people, from location...

Im Focus: The coldest reaction

With ultracold chemistry, researchers get a first look at exactly what happens during a chemical reaction

The coldest chemical reaction in the known universe took place in what appears to be a chaotic mess of lasers. The appearance deceives: Deep within that...

Im Focus: How do scars form? Fascia function as a repository of mobile scar tissue

Abnormal scarring is a serious threat resulting in non-healing chronic wounds or fibrosis. Scars form when fibroblasts, a type of cell of connective tissue, reach wounded skin and deposit plugs of extracellular matrix. Until today, the question about the exact anatomical origin of these fibroblasts has not been answered. In order to find potential ways of influencing the scarring process, the team of Dr. Yuval Rinkevich, Group Leader for Regenerative Biology at the Institute of Lung Biology and Disease at Helmholtz Zentrum München, aimed to finally find an answer. As it was already known that all scars derive from a fibroblast lineage expressing the Engrailed-1 gene - a lineage not only present in skin, but also in fascia - the researchers intentionally tried to understand whether or not fascia might be the origin of fibroblasts.

Fibroblasts kit - ready to heal wounds

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