What is a Passive House – Passivhaus?
What if you could spend less on your energy bills without changing a single habit? Furthermore, what if you could use less energy to heat your home, even in cold climates?
The Earth isn’t getting any younger and Mother Nature can use all the help she can get. Reducing your energy usage is a real way you can contribute to the solution.
Choosing a passive house design for your next home or commercial construction project is an excellent way to do this.
What Is a Passivhaus?
The idea of a passive house or Passivhaus has been around for a while now. It originated in the US and Canada as a response to the OPEC oil embargo decades ago. In fact, the entity which played a crucial role in developing the Passive House construction concept, the Passive House Institute (PHI), just celebrated its 30th birthday!
Passive homes rely on optimizing the energy gains and losses of a home. The exact same standards don’t apply in all areas because different climates will require a slightly different approach.
However, there are a few principles that all passive buildings have in common.
The building envelope needs to be extremely airtight to avoid the loss of conditioned air. The design also uses continuous insulation throughout to avoid thermal bridging.
The windows are a very important piece of the equation. Double or triple-paned windows are used to make the building more energy-efficient. Furthermore, they are specially designed to make the most of solar gain in the winter while limiting the amount of heat entering during the summer.
Passivhaus and Net Zero
Passivhaus designs are a step in the right direction but not quite there yet from an environmental perspective. The wave of the future is Net Zero homes and buildings.
Passive houses are extremely energy efficient but Net Zero homes take this one step further by producing their own energy as well. The idea with a Net Zero building is that it doesn’t need to rely on an external energy source — it produces as much energy as it consumes.
The principles of Passivhaus are an important part of Net Zero homes. In fact, you can create a Net Zero building by adding a power source to a passive house. The most common energy source, for now, is a solar panel system.
A passive house equipped with a solar panel system big enough to supply the household’s needs becomes completely energy independent.
Passivhaus and ENERsign
Germany has long led the charge by building the first Passivhaus in Darmstadt, Germany and we’re proud to be carrying on the tradition. Our giant windows meet the Passivhaus standards and use technology that makes for a super energy-efficient design.
We offer triple-paned windows and glass doors in a variety of types and styles. The windows are certified Efficiency Class A by the Passive House Institute Darmstadt and can be used in extremely cold climates.
An innovative wood interior, aluminum exterior frame design takes advantage of the insulation properties of wood and the anti-rot, anti-pest properties of aluminum.
We’ve even figured out how to make giant windows and doors with a “zero frame view” — that is, the frame parts don’t get in the way of your view. And this is possible without thermal bridges.
Plus, our windows aren’t your typical picture window size. We offer windows up to 10 feet high and up to 40 feet long! We also do custom sizes to accommodate any home or building.
Have your cake and eat it too by enjoying the great outdoors from climate-controlled indoor comfort — without heating the great outdoors.
The Future of Passivhaus and Net Zero
The World Green Building Council is challenging people around the world to build Net Zero businesses to help reduce the rate of global warming. They state that every building on the planet must be Net Zero by 2050 to reach the goal of keeping global warming less than 2 degrees.
By building the windows for passive houses and Net Zero buildings, we’re proudly doing our part to reach that goal. Are you interested in joining us? We invite you to peruse the amazing windows we offer here at ENERsign and commit to helping the world’s buildings reach Net Zero by 2050.