Passive house: this is what it is and its 6 fundamental principles

A passive house is a home that ALMOST does not need traditional heating or cooling systems.

The spread of passive houses took place in the first instance between Sweden and Germany (countries of birth Wolfgang Feist and Bo Adamson, the fathers of the passive house).

In Italy the diffusion of passive houses is still limited because work is being done on a correct adaptation of the original project from the continental climate to the temperate one of the Mediterranean region.

There are 6 principles on which a passive house is based:

1) INSULATION OF WALLS Thermal insulation is essential to avoid thermal bridges. Insulation takes place through a thick insulating layer (30 cm compared to 10 cm in traditional houses). The insulation is placed on all the external walls of the building and not inside as is normally the case. This arrangement allows the external walls not to transmit the variations of heat to the internal walls.


2) THERMAL WINDOWS Fixtures are usually the point where a large heat loss occurs. In passive houses the windows have triple glazing (instead of double). The surface of the windows is more insulating than the frame which is why it is preferred to have few but large windows. Another factor for which very large windows are preferred is the need to make the most of the heat and brightness of the sun's rays.


3) MATERIALS For materials, the possibilities are wide: a passive house can be made of wood, brick, concrete. It is clear that in order to reduce the CO2 emitted during the construction of the building, it is necessary to choose eco-sustainable materials.


4) ARCHITECTURE Buildings with compact shapes and low ceiling heights retain heat better than buildings with broken volumes and high ceilings. It is essential to predict the right exposure of the house with respect to the sun. The sunniest walls must have glazed surfaces capable of absorbing the sun. In temperate climates, like ours, it is necessary to take precautions to shield the sun's rays in the hottest months.


5) SELF-PRODUCED HEAT Thanks to the insulation, the building has the ability to self-heat through internal heat sources such as: Active household appliances Lighting The warm water The kitchen The same people who live there


6) VENTILATION Through an energy-efficient motor and a heat exchanger, the incoming air absorbs up to 80-90% of the heat of the outgoing air, then this air enters the home. To uniform the temperature of all the rooms, the passive house has a complex controlled ventilation so as to recover the heat from the rooms where it is produced more (such as the bathroom, the kitchen, and the most crowded environments) to transfer it to the colder rooms.


The result of a passive house is savings: 90% compared to a traditional home and 75% compared to houses built with the current thermal regulation. These percentages are certified by the data on the first passive wooden house built in Italy, in Lombardy. It is a house of 600 square meters for which an expense for actual consumption was calculated, during the first year, of only 100 euros, including heating and cooling costs. All this energy saving translates into a quantity of CO2 emissions: a traditional house emits 50-70 kg per square meter, a low-consumption house releases 10 kg / m2 into the atmosphere, and the passive house emits a maximum of 3 kg / m2.



Article written by Filippo Passerini 

Here is his profile Instagram

Published on 10-02-2022

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