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Passive House vs Certified Passive House – Know the Difference


“Energy efficiency” has become a buzzword that has made its way into any conversation to do with our appliances, cars, lighting and even our houses. But what does it mean to be energy efficient and what are they different ways you can set your home up for successful energy efficiency? (Have we said energy efficiency enough times in this paragraph?)

Passive House

A passive house is any house that makes smart use of the sun’s energy, and its surrounding environment to maintain a low footprint. To build a house that is passive, you’d need to consider how much sun the plot of land gets, how the houses (/buildings/trees) around it affect the shade and the materials used in your build.

Designing an energy efficient home can make your house function efficiently with little effort from you. This type of building uses the best possible orientation of your plot and adapts the house design accordingly to achieve a low footprint but the main concern? It doesn’t guarantee any of your energy efficiency or savings!

This is where a Certified Passive House comes in.

Certified Passive House

Passive Haus is a design methodology that uses building principles and materials that make sure your house functions efficiently with little effort from you. This type of building uses the best possible orientation of your plot and adapts the house design accordingly to achieve a low footprint.

There are certain tools available that help you optimise your passive house design for maximum comfort and energy efficiency. The Passive House Planning Package (PHPP) is one such tool that helps you not only optimise your build but also guarantee peak performance with a formal certification. Through this tool, architects, builders and designers are able to input details about the plot of land, and their building concept to receive specifications around:

  • The annual heating demand and maximum heating load
  • Summer thermal comfort with active cooling: cooling demand and maximum cooling load
  • Summer thermal comfort with passive cooling: frequency of extreme weather events [%]
  • Annual primary energy demand for the whole building
  • Dimensioning of individual components (building component assemblies including quality of windows, shading, ventilation etc.) and their influence on the energy balance of the building in winter as well as in summer
  • Dimensioning of the heating load and cooling load
  • Dimensioning of the mechanical systems for the entire building such as heating, cooling, hot water provision
  • General verification of the energy efficiency of the entire building concept

Source: passipedia.org

As you can see, the PHPP is a scientific process, rooted in the laws of physics. Today, it is considered an international best practice used to measure and certify the energy efficiency of your home, far more accurate than conventional calculation methods.

Three reasons to run your build through the PHPP and get certified

  1. The PHPP process ensures your build has followed accurate calculations for maximum comfort
  2. You have the guarantee of optimised energy efficiency
  3. Your house follows an internationally set standard which is contributing to the greater good!

Why not go the full distance and get your build fully certified?

iConstruct is a proud member of the Australian Passive House Association and possesses the expertise required to plan and build a passive house suited to your lifestyle and budget. Get in touch to discuss how we can help you!

Exciting update! We’ve installed the prefab on our Queens Park project this month. Watch for more updates on our Instagram page!

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