WHAT THE HECK IS… Passivhaus?
By Tom Langlands
Marketing Executive, ECON Polyurethanes
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What is Passivhaus?
Literally translated as Passive House, it refers to buildings created to rigorous energy-efficient standards, maintaining an almost constant temperature.
Where did Passivhaus originate?
The methodology was developed in Germany in the 1990s by Professors Bo Adamson and Wolfgang Feist and the first Passivhaus dwellings were constructed in Darmstadt in Germany.
Passivhaus or carbon-neutral. What’s the difference?
While a carbon-neutral house offsets energy usage with energy efficiency and clean energy generation, a Passivhaus dwelling is specifically designed to limit the amount of energy from the outset.
What are common features in a Passivhaus dwelling?
Far greater insulation like Elastospray LWP, triple glazing (including insulated frames), airtightness levels 20x greater than a standard build, and mechanical ventilation, with a heat recovery system attached.
Can existing properties have a Passivhaus retrofit?
Yes. However, it’s more common with new builds where the upfront costs will be offset by huge cost savings and long-term energy efficiency.
Are there Passivhaus buildings in the UK?
Yes. local authorities and housing associations are investing in schemes from Plymouth to Dundee. As energy costs are kept so low, tenants are unlikely to get into arrears with their rent.
Have ECON Polyurethanes been involved in Passivhaus builds?
Yes. You can read about our involvement in Dorset’s first Passivhaus dwelling here.
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