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Passive house, perfect thermal balance


Apassive houseit is a building that covers most of its energy needs linked to HVAC * systems using low environmental impact strategies.

In other words, onepassive housemanages to ensure maximum thermal comfort without or with a minimum use of electricity. Inpassive housethe forms ofconventional heatingsuch as boilers and radiators but they embrace heating systems called preciselypassive.

Apassive houseexploits i principles of bioclimatic architecture making the most of the potential of insulating materials. Thepassive heatingis made effective by thermal insulation: a house is called "passive"Precisely because the sum of passive heat input of solar radiation transmitted by the windows and the heat generated inside the building (by the inhabitants themselves or by the appliances) are almost sufficient to compensate for the heat loss of the building during the cold season. The same goes for ventilation as the plot thickens when it comes topassive coolingbecause more factors come into play.

* HVAC
Acronym for Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning. It includes all those devices that deal with cooling, heating or ventilating the rooms.

The requirements of a passive house

Apassive house, to be defined as such, it must meet specific standards. Thepassive housesthey were born in Sweden and over time they spread to Germany, Holland and Austria; in particular, in this last country, thepassive housesconstitute the new standard prescribed for new buildings under construction in 2015 while in the Austrian region of Vorarlberg, thepassive houseit became compulsory as early as January 1, 2007.

THErequirements of a passive housethey cannot refer to rigid universal standards because every nation and every certification has its own specifications. The countries that best regulate the standards set for onepassive housethey are Germany and Austria. Here in Italy we have theenergy certificationof buildings, similar in the values ​​it attributes to the energy classes that can be read on the labels of household appliances: similarly, with class A ++ we indicate buildings that can guarantee maximum energy savings and therefore this classification also includespassive houses. Less known certifications is Casa Clima, issued by an agency owned by the Autonomous Province of Bolzano.

In Germany they refer to precise standards and the so-calledBlower-Door-Test(according to UNI EN 13829). The actual is testedtightnessof thehome going to check all the connections and the components of the rough construction. At the end of this test, the manufacturer can obtain from the German certification body a document attesting the "passivity of the house“, or rather that in the building the loss of energy and the gain of energy are perfectly distributed. The institute ofpassive housesGerman PHI (Darmastadt), consider apassive buildingwhen theuseful energy requirement required for heatingisless than 15 kWh / (m²a)with a winter and summer heat load of less than 10 W / m² while the useful energy requirement for cooling must always be less than 15 kWh / (m²a).

The minimum of electricity required by apassive housemust be satisfied with alternative sources such as photovoltaic panels for the direct production of electricity, thermal solar panels for the production of domestic hot water, a heat pump can be used for cooling for which the adoption of ventilation systems may be necessary controlled energy recovery.

Get aheat balancesimilar is very complicated. These energy performances are obtained only with very careful planning, especially by studying the climatic trend and the housing position with respect to the sun. To build a passive house, very high performance materials are required on the perimeter walls, roof and glass surfaces. Even the choice and arrangement of the appliances cannot be left to chance as these accessories produce precious heat during the winter season and heat to be dissipated during the summer.

An example of building excellence in the construction ofpassive houses: Equinox Passive House.

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Video: Passive House Principles (January 2022).