3 videos showing a ‘passive’ home construction
The location is Dijon France.
The house design was 100% Client driven.
The structure was transported from Zagreb Croatia on 7 lorries.
Construction was completed from start to finish in 27 days.
( click the panels below to expand )
The concept of a ‘passive house’ refers to a type of building that requires low energy consumption compared to traditional buildings.
In exact terms an energy standard and an isolation level that requires less heating to 15 kWh / m2 / year.
The term was first used by the PassivHauss Institute in Germany.
A ‘passive house’ consumes 15 kWh / m2 / year compared to a standard 1960’s house which would on average consume 320 kWh / m2 / year.
So 22 ‘passive homes’ use the same energy consumption less heating as a house built around 50 years ago.
Energy efficiency is achieved through optimization of solar and metabolic inputs and a reinforced insulation of walls, roof and floor space.
The shell of the house is then entirely designed hermetically to avoid thermal bridges and heat loss through perfect airtightness.
The renewal of indoor air is provided by the installation of a mechanical double flow ventilation system.
The choice of construction material is important for example wood ,brick, clay hemp and cellular concrete.
To qualify for the designation of ‘passive house ‘ a building must meet the following standards:
- A need for heating less than or equal to 15 kWh / m2.an
- A need for total energy less than or equal to 42 kWh / m2.an
- A primary energy requirement less or equal than 120 kWh / m2.year
- An air tightness n50 less than or equal to 0.6 h-1
- Glazing with a U-value less than or equal to 0.8 W / m2K
- High performance insulation with a value less than or equal to 0.15 W / m2
The concept is to reduce the energy need in the long term and therefore emit fewer greenhouse gas emissions.
There is a conception that trying to combine comfort and energy efficiency will put constraints on the architectural design.
This is not the case.
The only constraint is that excellent energy performance is achieved.
Many architectural solutions are possible using different shapes and building products to maximise efficiency.
A few technical restraints must be taken into consideration when designing the house.
These will include.
- The orientation of the house must be optimized to take maximum advantage of solar gain.
- Consideration must be given to the compactness of the building construction.
This will in turn minimize the exchange surface of the house with the outside air and promote natural indoor air circulation without much ventilation.
- Using excellent high performance insulation products with low thermal conductivity will allow internal de-compartmentalisation and create open spaces that work with each other.
The primary function of insulation is to prevent heat loss and maintain the heat in the house during the cold months and keep the interior cool in the warm months
The isolation must be particularly enhance through effective insulation material being rigorously applied throughout the exterior shell of the house.
The reinforced insulation eliminates the need for a heating system or at least significantly reduce the heating requirements of a house.
Among the best insulating materials are glass wool, polyurethane foam, polystyrene & cellulose.
The use of triple glazing will also have a positive impact on increasing thermal and sound insulation.
Solar energy is an inexhaustible and non-polluting resource that does not emit CO2.
The idea is to harness the sun’s heat in all seasons and to store this heat and return it inside and around the house.
The solar energy is then stored in the walls and floors using materials with a high thermal inertia and redistributed around the house.
It provides optimum comfort thanks to a conservation of long term heat creating a homogenous temperature in every room and a quality of irreproachable air.
There will be an economy in external heating requirement and a cost saving financially.
The thermal inertia of a building depends on the materials used for insulation of the walls and floor.
The thermal inertia of wood is very important due to its particularly slow calorie absorption.
The thermal conductivity of the wood depends on its density and its moisture content.
In the winter any solar gains will be absorbed and the heat will be kept for long periods.
In the summer the house will retain more heat but will also retain its freshness.
Good thermal inertia reduces energy consumption by storing calories.
Faced with rising energy prices, controlling energy consumption is becoming universally acknowledged as a way to save increasing household costs.
According to a report prepared in June 2008 more than 90% of homes have a more polluted air quality than that of the air outside.
The ‘passive house ‘ standard is a habitat offering great comfort of life and to be able to breathe better quality air.
The pollution and humidity of indoor air can be harmful to the health of the occupants of the house.
These pollutants are often the cause of many annoyances such as allergies and asthma.
Constant circulation of clean air will reduce the inconvenience of odours and moisture problems.
Installation of a mechanical ventilation system guarantees a constant renewal and circulation of clean air.