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Welcome to Passipedia
This is the ressource for insights, informations and experience around the worlds leading sustainable building concept: The Passive House. If you are new to the topic, you might want to see the 90second-video first, created by Hans-Jörn-Eich.
The Passive House isn't just another eco-super-whatever label. It's a whole integrated concept for designing, constructing and maintaining buildings, which will provide high indoor air quality and best possible thermal comfort with only negligible annual costs. The amount of energy needed to keep the comfort high is regularly in the range of only one tenth (1/10 or 10% or 0.1) of what has been used in a comparable building in the past. This is one important reason, why the Passive House is sustainable: Such a building can be operated for hundreds of years without compromising the living costs for the occupants, but also without compromising any other person, born or yet to be born, on the planet. And: You can build and maintain a Passive House using local ressources; another reason, why it is sustainable.
You do not believe this, it is so promising, that it can not be true? I am with you - this is the first message for my students in my university lectures: Do not just believe everything which is told to you - be sceptical, use your own mind. (But use it! Don't just stay with your prejudices.) If you want to scrutinise all issues related to the Passive House concept, this is the right place for you to do so. Here is just another video, giving a first short insight (8 minutes) into what has been accomplished sofar - because Passive House is not just pure theory, it's not a mere philosophy, it's tenthausends of already realized and well performing buildings and it is a bunch of components which have been tried and tested for decades.
Built Passive House Examples
If there are already ten thousands of such buildings … where can you see some? There are several resources and I recommend starting with the two little books honoring the finalists of the two Passive House Architecture Awards:
These are some of the outstanding examples - and there are a whole lot realized projects, all around the globe. You may approach lots of these using the search engine in the Passive House Projects data base:
Passive House: Diversity
From the diversity of the examples you see in these resources, you can see:
- Passive House, this is not just for single family homes. There are offices, schools, kindergartens, factories, sports centers, even supermarkets and indoor swimming pools.
- Passive House, this is not just one special construction type - you'll find timber construction, masonry, steel frame, refurbished old buildings, … all construction types are possible.
- Passive House, this is not a “franchise” business concept - the international Passive House Institute has published ALL it's research, the know-how is available for everybody. But make no mistake: The quality is well defined; you shouldn't pretend that you build a passive house if you are not sure that you have the competence and that you will be able to prove, that the building complies with the criteria.
- Passive House, this is not a solution only working in “Darmstadt” . It is a science based approach, working everywhere on the planet. The Passive House Institute has created tools, which allow every architect, to design his project to become a Passive House. The most important tool is called the PHPP, the Passive House Planning Package. That is not only a software for all crucial calculations, but also a guide for “how to successfully design your Passive House project”.
- The background for Passive Houses all around planet Earth is the same, everywhere. It is sound building science - and know how based on the insight into thermal comfort. Because physics is the same everywhere and we as human being are very much the same (when it comes to what is perceived comfortable; of course we are really different on a mental scale, we create our own little universes).
After all, you might want to spend a little bit more time (1 hour) to see a longer presentation as an overview on the state of the art globally? This is a lecture given in Tokyo/Japan:
Passive House Know How made available
To use the Passipedia resource, you might just start with reading some information on the basic facts: Basics of the Passive House Concept. Or, you can search for specific topics: Like, what is this “airtightness”-issue about - why do buildings have to be airtight, how can you realize this in practice - and what are the experiences: airtightness.
These pages are science based. What does that mean? In science, we generally have a sceptic approach - you do not get your insights “from the gut”. You question, whether a generally accepted opinion is valid. Doing this consequently, you will step by step get rid of the not working, inappropriate prejudices. That is, why using the scientific method, your results will be as good as these can be - for the moment. But: We always can do better. Therefore, there might be and will be improvements: Even less expensive solutions for the window, e.g., just to mention one path the Passive House Institute is working on.