Passive house design is an approach to building design and construction that aims to create highly energy-efficient and comfortable buildings with minimal energy use. The passive house standard was developed in Germany in the late 1980s, and it has since been adopted in many countries around the world.
Passive house design is based on several principles that work together to minimize the energy required for heating and cooling a building. These principles include:
- Super-insulated building envelope: Passive house buildings are designed with highly insulated walls, roofs, and floors that prevent heat loss and gain. The insulation is typically much thicker than in conventional buildings.
- High-performance windows and doors: Passive house buildings have windows and doors that are highly insulated and airtight, which helps to reduce heat loss and gain.
- Air-tightness: Passive house buildings are constructed to be highly airtight, which reduces the amount of air leakage and helps to maintain a comfortable indoor environment.
- Heat recovery ventilation: Passive house buildings are equipped with mechanical ventilation systems that recover heat from the air that is being expelled from the building and use it to preheat the incoming fresh air. This helps to maintain a healthy indoor environment while also reducing heating and cooling costs.
- Passive solar design: Passive house buildings are designed to take advantage of solar energy to help heat the building. This may include features such as large south-facing windows, shading devices to prevent overheating in the summer, and thermal mass to store and release heat.
Passive house design can be applied to a wide range of building types, from single-family homes to large commercial buildings. The goal of passive house design is to create buildings that are comfortable, healthy, and energy-efficient, with minimal environmental impact.
Are there Passive Certified Homes in Canada?
Yes, there are passive certified homes in Canada. In fact, Canada has been a leader in the adoption of passive house design and has a growing number of certified passive house buildings, including single-family homes, multi-family buildings, and commercial buildings.
The Passive House Institute (PHI) is the organization that provides certification for passive house buildings worldwide. In Canada, the Passive House Institute Canada (PHI-C) is the national organization that provides certification and training for passive house professionals.
As of 2021, there were over 600 certified passive house buildings in Canada, with the majority located in British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec. This number is expected to continue to grow as more builders, architects, and developers adopt passive house design principles and seek certification for their buildings.
Passive house buildings in Canada are recognized for their high level of energy efficiency, comfort, and durability, as well as their reduced environmental impact. They are also often recognized for their resilience to extreme weather events, such as heat waves and cold snaps, which can be particularly important in Canada’s climate.
Contact us today to get started on a passive house project.