Passive Homes are intelligently designed to keep the outside - out. That means staying cool in the summer and warm in the winter. The concept may sound impossible, but this traditional European design is seen throughout history. However, with technological advances, regulating the temperature within a building can be done. Performance building systems are integrated into these homes to promote airflow, ventilation, and heat regulation.
There are so many ways to use the sun. From solar panels, photovoltaic systems, and window orientation - the sun will impact the design and craftsmanship of any performance building. An expert contractor will map out the sun to accurately design a retrofit or new home. By leveraging the natural angles of the sun and adding overhangs for shade, it will negate the need to warm and cool your home using artificial air (furnaces and air conditioning units are a thing of the past). Keeping the solar loads low will prevent the inside of the house from becoming uncomfortably hot. Controlling the amount of sun that enters a building can be done by: exterior design, window shades, landscaping, and angled windows.
Building orientation, insulation, window design are some of the ways that improve the quality of life inside a home.
It is vital to have proper ventilation to promote airflow to keep the air quality high during the winter months. By installing a high-performance mechanical ventilation system, the warm air will be mixed evenly with the cold air to create a comfortable living space; it will also alleviate the need to open the windows - letting in the cold air. Adversely, in the warmer months, having windows that open to provide fresh air and circulate the air throughout the entire house will help to keep the living space cool.
The BC Energy Step Code is stepping up the way builders insulate homes in British Columbia. This initiative echoes many green-building certification programs including the Passive House Institute certification. By complying with a high standard of insulation and air-tightness values, a home will reduce heat barriers and air loss - ultimately increasing the performance of your home. Pairing good insulation with proper ventilation is a recipe for success. In a study conducted by Wolfgang Feist, findings suggest that the indoor climate will remain cool if adequate ventilation is provided.
Many techniques are implemented to improve the performance of a building - allowing it to be self-sustaining and remain highly efficient. The best thing to do is hire a team of experts that will guide you through your Passive House journey. You can ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ to best suit your lifestyle and the climate in your region. By working together with Taigh Sidhean, you become a team, and they are your coach. By matching you with the perfect local designers and contractors to build your dream home. Build better, build net-zero.
Taigh Sidean has a team of experts to conceptualize your Passive Home from the ground up. Contact your team today to build better.