Here at AB Glass, we are proud to have worked on some fantastic projects that used Passivhaus standards. We believe this form of design will play a key role in buildings of the future.
But there are also misconceptions. Despite Passivhaus buildings making big impacts to carbon emissions with their design, and including lots of other advanced features – there are still plenty of incorrect notions around this design standard, such as the cost and features. In this post, we’ll debunk some of the common myths surrounding the Passivhaus building standard.
1. It’s only suitable for houses.
Although the principles, modelling and quality control originated from home designs, since its creation Passivhaus has been used for a huge range of buildings such as offices, schools, universities, hospitals and museums just to name a few! The concept is suitable for many types of buildings.
2. You can’t open the windows.
In the vast majority of cases, this is untrue. The Passivhaus Institute recommends that every building is fitted with windows, so lack of window functionality would be down to the choice of the designer themselves. Passivhaus standard buildings are designed to keep their temperatures regulated without the use of windows, however they are still an option.
3. They don’t have heating.
The Passivhaus standard design optimises passive heart sources like sunlight and body heat, but still has a heating system included in its design. Due to the efficiency, insulation, glazing and ventilation in the building design, there is little use for a heating system most of the time, however, most homes still include them.
4. They get too hot in summer.
On the opposite end of the temperature scale, people often misunderstand the Passivhaus standard to also get too hot in the summer. The air-tight insulation of these buildings is designed to retain internal heat when it’s needed, but the insulation also works to keep external heat outside the building in warm weather.
5. They can get stuffy.
The airtight design element also conjures ideas of stuffiness in a building, but again this isn’t true. These buildings include a mechanical ventilation system for all types of weather, to ensure the stale air is taken away and replaced with fresh air.
6. Too complicated to run.
The design of Passivhaus buildings aims to minimise any need for using cooling and heating systems with its fabric-first approach. Due to this they actually require less equipment to run than most conventional buildings, and the systems are simplified and user-friendly when you do need to utilise them.
7. They look ugly.
This could be true for any type of building, because that is completely dependent on the way the overall building was designed, rather than the elements used to build it. The elements of Passivhaus can be adapted to many home designs, with some stunning designs created with this performance standard. Be creative!
8. They belong in Germany.
As you may have noted from traditional spelling, Passivhaus design standards were created and perfected in Germany – but are not just designed for German living! These buildings are surging in popularity at the moment and popping up all across the world due to their great advantages in all climates and geographic locations.
9. They are expensive.
The expense is decreasing all the time. With the popularity of Passivhaus booming, the components of the design standard are becoming more accessible and available to the market as production increases.
The initial investment to build Passivhaus can occasionally be less expensive than a conventional building, but when you actually consider the savings made on energy consumption over the building’s lifetime, Passivhaus would win hands down on money-saving every time as they typically require 90% less energy than a conventional build.
We hope that after reading this post you have a better understanding of Passivhaus, but if you have any further questions, we’d be happy to answer them if you’d like to get in touch.
Tel: 01792 584 440