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Passivhaus Concept Changing How Homes are Built


Justine Hutton and her children at their Passivhaus in OldhamPassivhaus, the one and only internationally recognized concept solely for its energy saving performance, has taken over the property market, as energy bills continue to increase. The buildings are self-sufficient, super isolated and air-tight, and are equipped with windows that harvest the energy from the sun.

The first time people started talking about Passivhaus was back in the 90’s, when two German developers, Bo Adamson and Wolfgang Feist, introduced their concept of super-low energy consuming homes. The first such house was built in Darmstadt, Germany, and since then, the buildings have taken over the world, with neighborhoods emerging in Germany, Britain and South Korea as we speak. Currently the total number of such homes is just over 40,000, and numerous schools and even research stations in Antarctica are applying the standard.

But let’s look into these houses in more detail. The key here is that the buildings essentially do all the work, and do not need extra solar panels or other devices to generate electricity. Instead, the south-facing windows harvest the energy from the sun, while the high-insulation and air-tightness ensure that all the warmth is kept safely inside.

In addition to this, each house has a box in the attic. This carefully hidden away treasure is a mechanical ventilation heat recovery unit, which heats up the cold air from outside by using the warm air that is already inside the rooms, making use of the heat that is generated by all household appliances- from TVs to cookers and showers.

The best thing about these houses, is that they are not only suitable for cold temperature climates, but they can just as well provide the much needed comfort in the tropics as well, maintaining a constant temperature of 20 degrees C.

Of course, as every brilliant idea or a concept, this one faces its opposition too, but to be frank, it is way too good to be dismissed.

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