A Passive Housein a suburban setting

Designing a familial home to meet Passive House standards with a modest suburban design

Type: Standard house, new build

Built: October 2009

Net area: 148,3 m2

Gross area: 182,7 m2

Window system: Rationel AURAPLUS

Heating demand: 15 kWh/m2/year

This particular project proved that a Passive House doesn't have to be built in a certain style, and doesn’t have to bear an unusual aesthetic. The key contributing factors towards achieving a Passive House certification are the orientation, insulation, and the density of the building – as well as its ability to use free heat and light from the sun of course.

From the outside, this low-energy property looks just like all the other new builds surrounding it. It is only by looking at its utility bills that someone not already in the know would realise its superior energy efficiency.

This house was designed to have an extremely low heating demand, without compromising daylight conditions or functionality of the house. Our calculations showed that heat gains of this property exceeded heat loss by approximately 440 kWh/year – meaning the windows were essentially working as transparent radiators.

Intelligent solutions for lower energy demand

The house was equipped with automatic solar shading devices on all south-facing windows. This works to keep out 88% of solar heat in the summer, without restricting the clarity of the window or the ability to see through it.

By effectively handling overheating, it was also possible to increase the window area and thereby optimise solar absorption and insulation during the night, as well as the colder seasons.

A solution for all seasons

Activation of the solar shading devices served to both increase the quality of insulation quality and minimise the risk of external condensation.

This solar shading device can also be programmed to roll down into the night position at any given time period.

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