I stumbled over an interesting article about one of the first passive houses that has been built in Norway now and they hope that more people will follow. Honestly, I had never heard of a passive house before, so I wanted to get some more information about the subject. A passive house is a house that generally needs 25% less energy than a normal house. By reducing its ecological footprint, which is the measurement of how much energy needed to supply the worldwide need, it makes the house into a low energy building, which means that it requires very little energy for cooling or heating.
The idea started in a conversation between two professors in 1988. One of them from Sweden and the other one from Germany. Even though they were from two different countries, the idea was worked on in Germany and it is also the country today which has the most passive houses. The area around Germany, with countries like Poland, Switzerland, Austria etc., also have a lot of these buildings. Scandinavian countries have also opened their borders for this solution. Europe had approximately 25 000 registered passive houses as of two months ago. When it comes to the United States, it had only 13 registered passive houses.
The picture below shows how much heat that escapes from houses, on the right is a passive house and the left is a “normal” house;
And here is a picture showing how the passive house use a combination of low-energy building techniques and technologies:
Also found interesting information regarding the United States that I thought would be worth mentioning;
“In the United States, a house built to the Passive House standard results in a building that requires space heating energy of 1 BTU per square foot per heating degree day, compared with about 5 to 15 BTUs per square foot per heating degree day for a similar building built to meet the 2003 Model Energy Efficiency Code. This is between 75 and 95% less energy for space heating and cooling than current new buildings that meet today’s US energy efficiency codes. The Passivhaus in the German-language camp of Waldsee, Minnesota uses 85% less energy than a house built to Minnesota building codes.” – Wikipedia