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Passive Houses the Secrets

Passive Houses the Secrets

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Published by Wolfgang Feist
What are the secrets of the Passive House concept? Simple said: The secret is - that there are no secrets! The Passive House concept is open. It's tried and tested, monitored, it's affordable, comfortable, with good IAQ and it's international - but can be adapted to any regional requirement. You can examine each of these statements. See the links in the new short paper. (Latest edition from March 2011)
What are the secrets of the Passive House concept? Simple said: The secret is - that there are no secrets! The Passive House concept is open. It's tried and tested, monitored, it's affordable, comfortable, with good IAQ and it's international - but can be adapted to any regional requirement. You can examine each of these statements. See the links in the new short paper. (Latest edition from March 2011)

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Published by: Wolfgang Feist on May 01, 2010
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03/21/2013

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Passive Houses – the Secrets
By Univ.-Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Feist,University of Innsbruck and Passive House Institute , May 2010 
If you want to explore all the secrets … just look at
 
I am often asked: What is the secret behind the success of Passive Houses? Why did itbecame the leading orientation for buildings of the future worldwide?I collected some reasons, may be that these are not complete – I might have to add someother ones. But this is, why I think, Passive Houses became the yardstick for themeasurement of sustainable construction.
1) It's practice, not just theoryhttp://bit.ly/PassiveHouseExamples 
There are Ten thousands of realized Passive Houses, Thousands of them with athorough documentation. The Passive House concept is open to the public – it’snot a secret!
Lot’s of advertisement has been made in the past for lot’s of energy savingpromises – not all of them had shown to be valid. The Passive House concept isclearly stated, it’s published, it has been demonstrated and lot’s of examples havebeen monitored. There is a solid statistics for the energy savings achieved: Andthese are tremendous: In the range of 90% of the heating energy used inconventional existing buildings are shown to be saved in practice. And still some80% saved compared to typical new-built which fulfil contemporary requirements ofthe governments.
That is what we call tried and tested, well approved.
 
 
3) It's affordablePassive House Life Cycle Cost Analysis 
Still a lot of economiststhink, that being sustainablewill be more expensive thanthe traditional path. WithPassive Houses this is nottrue: The concept is cleverenough, not to add a lot ofexpensive hackneyed ideasto the building. But toimprove the componentsneeded anyhow (roofs,walls, windows, ventilation)in a way, that the result ismuch more efficient. Themain concept behind is to simplify the building – and that is best done by reducingit’s energy losses. All these losses go through the building envelope – so, it’s theenvelope, which has to be improved. This helps to reduce the additionalinvestment costs (yes, there are additional investment costs – but these are smalland these are quite lucrative investments, see graph). The graph above has beenrecalculated compared to prior publications in March 2011, because boundaryconditions have changed again: The extra investments have been reduced due tomore market available products and energy prices are much higher now.The Passive House concept additionally helps saving money on the investment ofable, already now; normal people can
4) a Passive House there is always best indoor air quality
the energy supply system: That is, what the concept is made for. Because energysupply was getting and is getting more and more expensive – because we arerunning out of the cheap energy sources.So, Passive Houses turn out to be affordafford to build a Passive House; you do not have to be a rich person; may be, inthe future, the Passive House will become the only housing standard which willremain to be affordable, if you do not want to spend a lot of your money for energy – but still want to stay comfortable. May be, this time has already come now.
In
http://j.mp/PH_ventilation
Most engineers see ventilation still mainly as a tool for cooling, heating and otherthe fresh air inlet of the ventilation system, whichkeeps at least 95% of all dust – so, even in an emergency, the air in a PassiveHouse is much more healthy.simple thermal issues. But the most important task is Indoor Air Quality (IAQ). It isimportant for the health of humans living in a building to have good quality indoorair. The Passive House concept has a big emphasis on healthy indoor condition:There is always a sufficient fresh air supply. And the success for better air hasbeen monitored and validated.There is a particle filter (>F7) in
 
 
“Too cheap to meter”
You remember that promise fr
5)
om the nuclear industry? Electricity will drop in costss far, that it will not be wise to even measure the consumption you have – thisin and again, last time, in connection with the liberation ofmany is some 250 € (per year!). That’s what others normallyy efficiency”-path is much more economi-sive for the consumers.
6)
akind of promise came agathe market for electricity. In reality most of us have seen electricity prices rising inthe past decades – and where it didn’t rise, there have been significant tax payerpaid subventions. This is not surprising – as long as our electricity consumptionmainly depends on not sustainable energy sources – which are going to be moreand more expensive.But: Now, in a Passive House, the total energy consumption is so low, that it is notnecessary to meter. You heard right – the heating bill in a typical 100 m² PassiveHouse dwelling in Gerpay per month. The costs for doing the measurements of heat consumption is inthe range of 100 €/yr. And doing the measurement, you might save 15% of theenergy – that would be just some 38 €/yr – it’ not worth the effort! Therefore, thereare already projects, in which measurements have been totally suspended and a“flat rate” has been announced instead.So,
efficiency can already today fulfil a promise 
, energy suppliers came up with – but never came even near to make it happen.Or, to say it in another way: The “energcally attractive than the “oil, coal and nuclear”-path. It’s not just cleaner, healthierand environmentally sound – it’s also less expen 
Everybody can learn it:http://bit.ly/PassDesign 
So, the secret is – that it is
NOT
a secret. Every architectand every civil engineer can learn how to build a Passiveme information needed, some
7)
House. Yes, there is soknow how required. It’s like learning to swim or learningto ride a bike. But, after being informed about theprinciple and after having gained some experience – everyone, who can build a home also can build aPassive House. There are special educational programsavailable in all parts of Europe and America to learn thiscompetence.
defaulthttp://bit.ly/PassComfort Best thermal comfort by
With a well insulated building envelope a home, an office and every other spaceused by persons automatically has improved indoor thermal comfort conditions,perature differences.less temperature differences, less drafts, less radiation temLiz Male put it this way:
“Passivhaus is a fantastic comfort standard(not just energy & carbon standard) – that will make it awinning proposition”.
Bill Butcher:
“This is green without the

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