The Keys To Passive House Standard
Energy efficiency, sustainability and comfort
In the last 15 years we have seen how the demand for self-sufficient or low-consumption houses has increased, due both to the advance of new technologies and to the development of new materials, as well as to the intention that has gradually permeated society to generate less pollution.
To face a project of passive house it is important to know the characteristics of the climate in which our project will be located to adapt the materials used and the elements in charge of functions like providing isolation or generating energy.
Due to the multiple environmental factors that affect the habitability and energy generation of a building, it would not be correct to apply the same strategies to preserve the thermal comfort of the interior of a house in the Canary Islands as it would be for a house in Canada.
1.Correct thermal nsulation: We are looking for a low thermal transmittance in walls, roofs and floors, so we must control that the building envelope is correctly thermally insulated to avoid these transmittances in both winter and summer. In this case, the thickness of the insulation will vary depending on the climate of the region. An example of good thermal insulation would be the Titania building in Madrid (DMDV Arquitectos) where the entire building envelope has been insulated including the foundation.
2. Suppression of thermal bridges:
The care of the work in the union points as axes and joints is fundamental to avoid the thermal bridges, points where we would lose or gain undesired energy. The meeting of walls in complicated angles, or the joints between construction elements, are points where the surface temperature can be affected with respect to the rest of the house. One of the undesirable results of the presence of thermal bridges is the appearance of mold.
3. Openings: Achieving a good thermal envelope is not everything, since there is a large surface area of it that is exposed to the outside through doors, windows, skylights, etc… When we refer to openings we are talking about both the glass and the carpentry that holds it. The carpentry should have high insulation values. For our climate, we use a glass that consists of two air chambers, and three glasses. To increase its insulation, one of the air chambers can be filled with Argon, and at the same time insulating films can be placed on the glass to counteract unwanted losses or gains from heat or cold.
5. Airtightness. The airtightness of the building envelope is responsible for maintaining stable climatic conditions and preventing maladjustments due to temperature changes and outside air currents. To achieve this tightness, special care must be taken in the areas most exposed to the outside. When windows and doors are not properly sealed, these energy losses can occur.