In a Passive House the consumption for space heating is reduced by 90 percent compared to average houses of the building stock and by 75 percent compared to ordinary new construction – the energy requirement for heating Passive Houses is 15 kilowatthours per squaremeter living space each year and thus far less than in low energy houses. But, at the same time the comfort in a Passive House is significantly better. In contrast to ordinary buildings, which in European climates loose a lot of heat and have to be heated actively, a Passive House uses the free heat sources inside of the building envelope - e.g. the heat from the persons in the house and from solar energy incidenting through windows – and the heating system is simplified significantly. Special windows and an envelope built from highly efficient insulation panels help to keep the heat inside. Fresh air is constantly delivered by a ventilation system without drafts. A highly efficient heat recovery unit reduces the ventilation losses to a great extent.
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(updated 2008-02-24 © Dr. Wolfgang Feist Passive House Institute; unchanged copy is permitted, please give reference to this site)