Frequently Asked Questions about Passive House:
For more information, please read the relevant articles listed below the questions (these are being added as we write articles on our blog).
1. A house or building without a heating system? How is that possible?
A Passive House doesn’t need a heating system of any kind because the building envelope allows for very little heat loss.
2. Why is it better to invest in the building envelope, as opposed to the energy systems of a house or building?
Today there is a lot of talk about renewables: photovoltaic, wind, geothermal. Everyone asks which one is the best value, the most ecological and economical? A Passive building is removed from this discussion because it requires so little energy that an expensive renewable energy system is not necessary. This means that the building is much simpler to use and has associated maintenance costs that are much lower.
3. Does a Passive House cost more than a traditional house?
It depends how you calculate the cost of a building. If you are only considering construction costs, yes, a Passive House costs a small percentage more than a traditional house. However, once you start calculating maintenance and utilities costs for the life of the house, a Passive House quickly becomes much less expensive.
4. Besides houses, can other types of buildings be Passive?
Yes, there are many examples of Passive schools, libraries, churches, offices, etc.
5. What is the architectural style of a Passive House or Building?
Whatever you like! Building a house to the Passive standard does not mean that you have to adhere to one particular design aesthetic.
6. Can I renovate my existing house or building into a Passive House?
Yes! Many Passive buildings are, in fact, renovations or restructures.
7. How important is the orientation of a Passive House?
A Passive House heats itself with passive energy from the sun, so the orientation with respect to the sun can have a very big impact on the amount energy available. This does not mean, however, that it is impossible to construct a Passive House without the ideal orientation. It just means that other considerations need to be made in the calculations.
8. Are Passive Houses made of wood or masonry?
Both and neither. The standard does not prescribe a specific building material.
9. Why does a Passive House need mechanical ventilation?
Mechanical ventilation guarantees comfort and healthy indoor air quality by exchanging dirty or moist air (such as in the bathroom or kitchen) for freshly filtered air.
10. Can I still open the windows?
Of course! Just as in any normal house or building, the windows may be fully operable.
11. Why is it a good idea to complete the certification process?
(1) The certification process offers a certain set of guidelines for the contractor to follow to ensure quality of construction (2) Having the certification will increase the market value of your house or building.