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The Passivhaus Energy Standard: The Latest Energy Trend in Europe

What if Quality Window & Door told you there was a way to make your home super-efficient with ultra-low heating, ultra-low cooling costs and high-quality air free from pathogens and allergens? Now, there is! Already an emerging trend in Europe, the passivhaus energy standard refers to the materials, architectural design, and construction processes employed to make a home energy-efficient.

Passivhaus homes must also undergo a rigorous series of tests that check for energy-efficiency in order to be granted this eco-friendly title. If you’re in the Maryland, Virginia or Washington, DC area, you can work towards having a more environmentally friendly and passivhaus-inspired home! Keep reading to learn more about passivhaus energy standards.

The History of Passivhaus

The passivhaus energy trend began in 1988. German engineers Dr. Bo Adamson and Dr. Wolfgang Feist completed a number of research projects testing for the most efficient home designs and constructions. In 1990, a group of private architects decided to build several townhomes that embodied these passivhaus qualities.

Throughout the 1990s, more and more residential and commercial spaces were gradually adopting the passivhaus philosophy. These houses became more popular in Germany, Sweden and other parts of Scandinavia and Northern Europe. Eventually, some of the first passivhaus homes were developed in North America in the early 2000s. Today, an estimated 15,000 to 20,000 homes worldwide follow the passivhaus energy standard.

The Passivhaus Energy Standard of Measurement

Passivhaus takes into account several traits when determining if a space meets its requirements:

  • The Materials Used – Passivhaus energy standards praise residences that use greener and more energy-efficient materials in their homes. For example, energy efficient windows that have triple-pane insulated glazes rank higher on the passivhaus scale than conventional windows.
  • The Designs Developed – the Passivhaus energy standard takes into account the architectural design of a home. For instance, if the design takes advantage of natural light and aligns the residence so it faces the sun, that house receives a higher passivhaus rank.
  • The Utility Costs – One final passivhaus energy standard of measurement is how much utilities like heating, cooling and electricity cost after the space has been built. Passivhaus energy standards favor residential homes and commercial buildings that incorporate solar energy methods, low-energy lighting sources and other techniques that leave a smaller carbon footprint.

Common Passivhaus traits

You’ll notice that with most passivhaus homes, certain traits tend to resurface:

  • High-Quality Air – Passivhaus homes place an emphasis on air that is free from pathogens and allergens. As a result, the designers and builders pay attention to any interior finishes, furnishings and glazes that might disrupt air quality. This minimizes indoor air pollution.
  • Equal Interior Temperatures – One of the most important passivhaus features is the equal temperatures throughout the house. Many of the passivhaus technologies fail to work under uneven interior temperatures. Thus, in passivhaus residences you will rarely notice a difference in temperature between rooms as you often do in conventional homes.
  • Quick Temperature Returns – If you do decide to open a door or window, and the temperature of your houses changes, usually it takes some time to regain the lost heat or cool air. Passivhaus residences, on the other hand, are fairly resistant to this, and can restore the space’s temperature rather quickly.

There are many benefits to building your next home or office following the passivhaus energy standards. Even better, Quality Window & Door provides many products you can incorporate into your home should you choose to follow more eco-friendly designs. If you’re looking for more information about passivhaus energy standards, contact Quality Window & Door today!

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