The first thing you read about Passivhaus is often the set of technical requirements and performance metrics. It’s got to be airtight. No thermal bridges are allowed. 15kWh/m2.a, 10W/m2, 120kWh/m2.a, 0.6 ach. . . But these figures don’t help you understand how to design a Passivhaus building. These figures don’t tell you what is different about designing a Passivhaus building to designing any other building.

Passivhaus might be the world’s most stringent and fastest growing building energy efficiency standard, but does it work in urban locations? Must a Passivhaus building strictly face south?

This post is a simple and brief introduction to 5 things to know about Passivhaus before you get into the technical requirements:

  1. Integrated Design
  2. Location
  3. Orientation
  4. Form
  5. Construction System

Once you have a grasp of these 5 things, then you’ll be in a good place to start digging deeper into what is required for Passivhaus.

5 things to know about Passivhaus - title
5 things to know about Passivhaus Infographic

Passivhaus is fundamentally about design.

Passivhaus is the world’s most stringent and fastest growing building energy efficiency standard because it is about design. (And because it delivers what it promises.)

Start with getting the Passivhaus design fundamentals right. Then use the PHPP as one of your design tools and work with the Passivhaus performance metrics as design constraints.

Don’t let the performance metrics of Passivhaus put you off, understand the design approaches and get started.

Ready to dig deeper?

  1. Integrated Design – Passivhaus: Simple but not easy
  2. Location – What the Passivhaus Standard is Not
  3. Orientation – Passivhaus: Solar Orientation Doesn’t Matter. Or Does It?
  4. Form – What is the Heat Loss Form Factor?
  5. Construction Systems – Passivhaus Construction: Not Just Timber

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4 thoughts on “5 things to know about Passivhaus

  1. Another lovely clear post Elrond although I think that the physics in 4 is not clear and should say the more volume relative to useful floor area . . .

    Maximising the volume relative to external heat loss area is a good thing.

  2. Great way to distill Passive House into its elements, Elrond. Love the images!

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