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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 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

Tougher UK Building Regulations for April 2006

Higher standards of insulation and control of air leakage in buildings is called for in the forthcoming revised UK Building Regulations. In particular, Part L of the Building Regulations has been reviewed with a brief to make new buildings more energy efficient and to tackle climate change. The revised changes will be enforced from April 2006. This will mean new buildings will need to be better insulated and use more efficient heating systems. And importantly, for the first time the rev 09.12.2005 | nachricht Read more

A project to prevent risks on construction worksites

The Technologies Research Centre, Ikerlan, is leading the Var Trainer European project, which consists of developing training simulators for handling machinery aimed at workers in the construction sector to avoid risks in the workplace. This initiative is promoted by associations of construction companies and manufacturers from six European countries. Accidents in the workplace, particularly concentrated on the construction sector, are a cause for concern for public and private agents 17.11.2005 | nachricht Read more

Calculating benefits of collaboration in the construction industry

The University of the West of England (UWE) and Management Process Systems (MPS) have been awarded a grant of over £68,000 from the Department of Trade and Industry to form a new Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP). The project’s aim is to develop an innovative way of calculating the costs and benefits of collaborative and workflow IT business support systems in the construction industry. The construction industry is worth £57 billion in the UK alone, but many construction project 09.11.2005 | nachricht Read more

’Smart’ buildings to guide future first responders

The best response to a building emergency is a fast and informed one. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is working with the building industry as well as the public safety and information technology communities to achieve both objectives. NIST researchers are studying how "intelligent" building systems can be used by firefighters, police and other first responders to accurately assess emergency conditions in real-time. One of the biggest problems faced by 07.11.2005 | nachricht Read more

The House Stands Swaying

An automatic guard has been developed to check that houses or other buildings do not sway, or move away from their true vertical position. If dangerous degrees of tilt are found, the device immediately notifies engineers. This spatial meter, called PIKiN-03, has been designed by Moscow engineers to measure vibrations and tilts in three dimensions. Such measuring devices designed by engineers of the Conus (Cone) company are capable of around the clock checking that the permissible 12.10.2005 | nachricht Read more

Bridges equipped with dampers against earthquakes

Researchers at the Universitat Jaume I of Castelló and at the University of California have devised a system to reduce the damage caused by earthquakes in bridges. Installed between the piers of a bridge and their respective foundations, it is a flexible device that helps to mitigate the effects produced by the movement of the Earth’s surface, working in a similar way to the shock absorbers in cars. The study has been published in the journal Earthquake Engineering and Structural Dynamics. < 08.09.2005 | nachricht Read more

Design Competition for new Antarctic Research Station

Tension is mounting for three teams of architects and engineers who are competing for the design of the new British Antarctic Survey (BAS) Halley Research Station. The winning team will be announced on Tuesday 19 July. The Jury Panel and technical advisory team have a difficult choice to select just one from three stunning solutions. Each proposal is designed to withstand Antarctica’s extreme environment. Each scheme is elevated above the ice to avoid burial by snow; and is capa 07.07.2005 | nachricht Read more

Research: Florida getting better at protecting homes from hurricanes

New Florida homes withstood last year’s four hurricanes better than their older counterparts -- thanks in large measure to continued improvements in the state’s hurricane building code, say University of Florida engineers. UF engineering researchers have completed one of the most extensive studies of how homes built before and after Florida’s latest building code held up against Charley, Frances, Jeanne and Ivan. Their conclusion: Homes built under the Flor 29.06.2005 | nachricht Read more

TERREAL terracotta facades go global

TERREAL of France, a leading manufacturer of terracotta construction materials, specialises in terracotta facades for commercial and residential buildings and is currently looking for distributors. The company has demonstrated its international expertise by advising architects in Spain, England, the USA and China. TERREAL will be showcasing its latest product lines at various trade shows in the coming months. TERREAL’s expertise is a major advantage in the terracotta cladding 17.05.2005 | nachricht Read more
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New Pitt research finds carbon nanotubes show a love/hate relationship with water

Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are valuable for a wide variety of applications. Made of graphene sheets rolled into tubes 10,000 times smaller than a human hair, CNTs have an exceptional strength-to-mass ratio and excellent thermal and electrical properties. These features make them ideal for a range of applications, including supercapacitors, interconnects, adhesives, particle trapping and structural color.

New research reveals even more potential for CNTs: as a coating, they can both repel and hold water in place, a useful property for applications like printing,...

Im Focus: Magnets for the second dimension

If you've ever tried to put several really strong, small cube magnets right next to each other on a magnetic board, you'll know that you just can't do it. What happens is that the magnets always arrange themselves in a column sticking out vertically from the magnetic board. Moreover, it's almost impossible to join several rows of these magnets together to form a flat surface. That's because magnets are dipolar. Equal poles repel each other, with the north pole of one magnet always attaching itself to the south pole of another and vice versa. This explains why they form a column with all the magnets aligned the same way.

Now, scientists at ETH Zurich have managed to create magnetic building blocks in the shape of cubes that - for the first time ever - can be joined together to...

Im Focus: A new quantum data classification protocol brings us nearer to a future 'quantum internet'

The algorithm represents a first step in the automated learning of quantum information networks

Quantum-based communication and computation technologies promise unprecedented applications, such as unconditionally secure communications, ultra-precise...

Im Focus: Distorted Atoms

In two experiments performed at the free-electron laser FLASH in Hamburg a cooperation led by physicists from the Heidelberg Max Planck Institute for Nuclear physics (MPIK) demonstrated strongly-driven nonlinear interaction of ultrashort extreme-ultraviolet (XUV) laser pulses with atoms and ions. The powerful excitation of an electron pair in helium was found to compete with the ultrafast decay, which temporarily may even lead to population inversion. Resonant transitions in doubly charged neon ions were shifted in energy, and observed by XUV-XUV pump-probe transient absorption spectroscopy.

An international team led by physicists from the MPIK reports on new results for efficient two-electron excitations in helium driven by strong and ultrashort...

Im Focus: A Memory Effect at Single-Atom Level

An international research group has observed new quantum properties on an artificial giant atom and has now published its results in the high-ranking journal Nature Physics. The quantum system under investigation apparently has a memory - a new finding that could be used to build a quantum computer.

The research group, consisting of German, Swedish and Indian scientists, has investigated an artificial quantum system and found new properties.

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

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