Passive homes are popping up everywhere as the next big thing in Australia. It gives you a very useful way to build different types of buildings in high-quality and low in energy to maintain a comfortable indoor environment. Well, there is a popular misconception that sealing up a building allowing no windows and doors to open can offer passive housing. In reality, you can live in a passive house while allowing yourself to open and close the door whenever you want. The only difference a passive house makes by allowing the indoor environment to be in high standard of health and comfort with different structural elements in the building. 

All You Need to Know about Passive House: 

Constructing buildings that deliver the healthy indoor environment with comfortable temperature indoor using minimal energy follows a standard of the certified passive house of CPH. It is known as a “fabric first” approach to get the skin of the building right. There are 5 passive house foundation principles passive house builders in Melbourne follow- 

  • Appropriate Insulation: Depending on the climate zone, the amount of insulation varies. For some climate zones, a passive house doesn’t need much insulation than being only code-compliant. 
  • No Uncontrolled Air Leaks: Airtight construction ensures only fresh air will enter your home. A passive building needs to be tested for air leakage. And it must be below 0.6 air changes per hour. Marinating proper airtightness is essential, as it keeps the heat out. With the airtightness, you will need to install the ventilation system. Otherwise, the buildup of CO2 and other toxins can’t be avoided. 
  • Mechanical Heat Recovery Ventilation: MHRV or mechanical heat recovery draws filtered outdoor air indoors and exhausts indoor air without mixing these two air streams. This system can deliver you the fresh and tempered air into your home without paying a hefty amount of bill on energy consumption due to opening doors and windows. 
  • Windows That Insulate and Seal Your Home: Windows are one of the top sources of heat loss in case of normal buildings. However, in the case of passive buildings, heat loss and gain is much more balanced. In Australia climates, buildings in some region require triple glazing, whereas some other parts need only double glazing. A passive house with insulated windows transmits 1/6th of heat compared to a typical Australian window.
  • No Thermal Bridges: Thermal bridges are the passage from inside to outside through which the heat can move easily. Uninsulated concrete slab edges, poor quality windows, and steel framed buildings are a common example of thermal bridges. Eliminating thermal bridges can benefit health and enhance comfort by eliminating the chances of condensation.

How Passive Solar Housing and Certified Passive Housing is Different?

Both the passive solar design and certifies passive house can deliver comfortable and enjoyable buildings and can tolerate greater temperature fluctuations. The fundamental difference comes up at the passive solar design that relies on getting solar access into the thermal mass, uses reverse cooling mode and shading- whereas Certified Passive House relies on airtightness, effective insulation without the use of solar energy.

Now you know the basic principles of passive house building. So, hiring a reliable builder is the next big thing you need to consider.

Author's Bio: 

The author is a certified passive house builder in Melbourne and passionately writes blogs and articles to make users aware of passive building requirements.