Passive house – the future of construction or a utopian vision of houses without electricity and heating bills?

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Are you planning to build or buy a house? Are you terrified of heating and energy costs? Reach for contemporary technological solutions. Looking for modern methods of house construction, one can easily come across mentions of passive houses, which have only been built in Poland for about 30 years. About it What is a passive house and what benefits are achieved after its construction, you can learn from this article.

What is a passive house and what are its characteristics?

Passive houses are built with the latest architectural art to optimize energy requirements. The main characteristic here is the ideal thermal insulation of the building and maximum tightness, so that the heat generated inside it largely stays inside.

For this reason passive house is designed in a specific way, with benefits and savings in mind. Places such as the rooms, living room and kitchen, occupy the south side of the building, because it is this side that has a high level of sunlight during the day.

Very often over a significant area, are used glazing, including skylight windows. It is not uncommon for them to occupy the entire south wall. On the northern part of the house, on the other hand, any windows are rarely included due to the highest heat loss in this area. For this reason, the north side is dedicated to low-use rooms, such as the garage, utility room or bathroom.

What requirements must be met to call a passive house?

So that no one is in doubt what a passive house is, the definition of this type of building is strictly defined and indicates a specific type of building that uses technological solutions to reduce heating and energy demand. Therefore passive house requirements are as follows:

  • Heat demand must not exceed 15 kWh/ (m²*year);
  • The demand for so-called. primary energy does not exceed 120 kWh/ (m²*year);
  • A minimum of 40% of the heat comes directly from the sun’s rays coming through the window;
  • Heat recovery due to the mechanical ventilation used must not be less than 75%;
  • The coefficient of heat loss through the walls, roof and floor must not exceed 0.13 W/ (m*K);
  • The heat transfer coefficient of windows and frames must not exceed 0.8 W/ (m²*K);
  • Eliminating thermal bridges;
  • airtightness, and with air exchange not exceeding 0.6 cubic meters of the house per hour.

The specified requirements of a house are not just a set of regulations, and nowadays it is becoming a construction standard. Using various technologies, methods, techniques and materials, the goal can be achieved in different ways.

Is it possible to build a house without a conventional heating method?

The demand for heating of a passive house is small, up to eight times lower than for standard houses. This makes the classic heating system redundant. Passive houses are heated are either by the ventilation air method or smaller systems such as underfloor heating are installed.

What are the costs of building a passive house? Funding opportunities

At this point construction of a passive house is more expensive than conventional or energy-efficient homes due to unique technological advances.

In 2021, the average price of a of a passive house The shell was about 450-700 thousand zlotys at 100 m². An energy-efficient house of the same area costs about 400,000, and a conventional house about 300,000.

It is possible to subsidizing a passive house and its construction. We are talking about two programs, which are “Clean Air” and “My Electricity.” Subsidies in this aspect are taken into account on the basis of presenting projects that take into account such solutions that will reduce energy demand.

EU aid is not everything. There are a number of local programs. Assistance can be obtained under:

  • National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management;
  • Thermomodernization and Renovation Fund;
  • Regional Operational Programs;
  • Local Anti-Smog Programs.

There is no doubt that the ever-increasing prices for heat and electricity encourage investment in new solutions to reduce the cost of living. Global energy trends are leaning toward renewable energy sources. Thus, reaching for available solutions, such as. construction of a passive house you can enjoy the reduction of energy consumption to a minimum.

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