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what is passive house?

A science based building standard that creates great thermal comfort, clean fresh air and dramatically reduced energy bills

5 key Passive House principles

​Adoption of the 5 key Passive House principles means;

  1. Thermal insulation everywhere it is needed - roof, walls and floor

  2. Airtightness – no air leaks or drafts

  3. No thermal bridges – more about this later

  4. Great windows and doors – no leaks and good thermal protection

  5. Mechanical ventilation - with heat recovery

Great thermal comfort

That feeling inside the home when it is exactly the right temperature


When adopting Passive House principles in your home, you create stable inside air temperatures and the relative humidity without the need to use active heating or cooling devices, up to 90% of the time.

Inside temperatures are maintained between 20 – 25 degrees, relative humidity remains between approx. 30-50% and it is in these conditions, that most people experience what we call great ‘thermal comfort’. This stable condition means the need to turn on a heater or cooler is dramatically reduced, up to 90% of the time.

Clean fresh air all year round

Filter pollens, dust and outside pollution

​Having created an airtight building that’s properly ventilated means we can enjoy clean fresh filtered air 24/7. This air is not air conditioned but is clean fresh outside air distributed throughout the home. At the same time moist, stale air from bathrooms, kitchen, laundry and toilets is extracted to the outside.

Removing stale, moist air from the home and drawing in fresh, filtered air from outside dramatically improves the quality of air in your home and eliminates the chance of condensation and mould. Pollen and other allergens are removed from the incoming air, improving the living conditions for you and your family.

Reduced energy bills

Use less heating and cooling; spend less on energy bills

As we enjoy stable comfortable temperatures the need for active heating or cooling is significantly reduced. This means you won’t spend summer in front of the air conditioner or winter roasting by the heater.

On the few occasions where active heating or cooling is still necessary, efficient split systems can fill the gaps when required. We have seen clients reduce their energy bills for heating and cooling by up to 90%, in our case this has been closer to 97%.

As the price of energy continues to increase, can you afford not to build to a Passive House standard?

How it works

Airtight envelope surrounds your home with superior insulation in all the right places

The building ‘envelope’ is the exterior layer of the building, the outer ’skin’, the walls, windows, floor and roof. The Passive House approach to thermal performance is to ensure the exterior layer is well insulated, airtight and well ventilated. This performance layer provides the opportunity to manage and deliver clean fresh air and comfortable temperatures all year round.

At the planning stage, the building is assessed for potential thermal bridges, that leak temperature and moisture - significantly affecting the building performance. Combining this with high quality windows and doors, we manage the air quality and temperature through a balanced ventilation system with heat recovery (HRV). This device removes stale moist air from the home, prevents condensation and mould build up and transfers the temperature of the out-going air to the incoming air.

Together, the air tight insulated envelope and HRV system protect the interior from the extremes of our diverse and changing climate.

Passive House in 90 seconds

Passive house explained in 90 seconds by Hans-Jörn Eich


Contact us today to learn more

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