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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.

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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

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

Im Focus: Miniature double glazing: Material developed which is heat-insulating and heat-conducting at the same time

Styrofoam or copper - both materials have very different properties with regard to their ability to conduct heat. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Mainz and the University of Bayreuth have now jointly developed and characterized a novel, extremely thin and transparent material that has different thermal conduction properties depending on the direction. While it can conduct heat extremely well in one direction, it shows good thermal insulation in the other direction.

Thermal insulation and thermal conduction play a crucial role in our everyday lives - from computer processors, where it is important to dissipate heat as...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer IAF establishes an application laboratory for quantum sensors

In order to advance the transfer of research developments from the field of quantum sensor technology into industrial applications, an application laboratory is being established at Fraunhofer IAF. This will enable interested companies and especially regional SMEs and start-ups to evaluate the innovation potential of quantum sensors for their specific requirements. Both the state of Baden-Württemberg and the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft are supporting the four-year project with one million euros each.

The application laboratory is being set up as part of the Fraunhofer lighthouse project »QMag«, short for quantum magnetometry. In this project, researchers...

Im Focus: How Cells Assemble Their Skeleton

Researchers study the formation of microtubules

Microtubules, filamentous structures within the cell, are required for many important processes, including cell division and intracellular transport. A...

Im Focus: World Premiere in Zurich: Machine keeps human livers alive for one week outside of the body

Researchers from the University Hospital Zurich, ETH Zurich, Wyss Zurich and the University of Zurich have developed a machine that repairs injured human livers and keep them alive outside the body for one week. This breakthrough may increase the number of available organs for transplantation saving many lives of patients with severe liver diseases or cancer.

Until now, livers could be stored safely outside the body for only a few hours. With the novel perfusion technology, livers - and even injured livers - can now...

Im Focus: SuperTIGER on its second prowl -- 130,000 feet above Antarctica

A balloon-borne scientific instrument designed to study the origin of cosmic rays is taking its second turn high above the continent of Antarctica three and a half weeks after its launch.

SuperTIGER (Super Trans-Iron Galactic Element Recorder) is designed to measure the rare, heavy elements in cosmic rays that hold clues about their origins...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

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