Talk:Passive house

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Categories[edit] 03:12, 1 March 2006 (UTC) restored the categories copy edited by User:Dogears

To me passive house methods are not a rigid group of visually simular buildings like log cabins or craftsman cottages. Rather they are an interdiciplinary package of concepts, techniques and approaches that pull in from many sources and reach back out into many styles and disiplines. Hence the wide range of catagories

((Category:Architecture]] This is certainly architecture

((Category:Building]] Passive houses are buildings as if energy use had consequences

((Category:Energy]] A kilowatt hour conserved is a kilowatt hour for some other use

((Category:Environmental design]] if a house that uses substantially less energy with improving comfort is not env design I do not know what is

((Category:Building engineering]] Defineately simulation is a foundation tool of design engineering and of creating passively heated houses

Heat conductance[edit]

Warning: I replaced "W/qm" with "W/m²" in the text – not sure whether that's correct. However, thermal conductance is measured in "W/m*K" (watts / (meter * kelvin)". We should somewhere add information on this odd "heat conductance" thingy used in this article (assuming it exists although it seems odd to omit the temperature difference). Rl 11:12, 11 May 2005 (UTC)

thanks W/qm*k is right - I did a mistake

Heat conductance is not an "odd thingy", it is a technical/physical parameter that tells us how much heat is transported through a layer of material with thickness of 1 meter and with 1 K (Kelvin) temperature difference. Temperature difference is there, amd W/m*K is correct! W/qm however is certainly not a part of the SI system, but must be a queer old fashioned remain of the imperial system. KJP —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:46, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

But what is W/qm ? I can find no reference to it. Cumfy (talk) 13:34, 27 May 2012 (UTC)

Natural ventilation[edit]

The following section may well be correct, however it has been removed since it is liable to cause confusion - it is impossible to meet the Passivhaus heating requirements without mechanical heat recovery ventilation.

There is an emerging trend of building designers inspired by the Passivhaus concept designing for the most part to the Passivhaus specifications, but also taking an arguably more "passive" approach of using controlled natural ventilation rather than mechanical heat recovery ventilation systems[1]. This is some quarters considered to be the greener option, as mechanical ventilation systems require an electrical input-albeit in many cases a low input as low wattage motors come into use--to operate. Another perceived benefit is that natural ventilation systems include no moving parts, and may therefore be more durable.

Gralo 20:35, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

I'm not sure "impossible" is the word. Unpractical is more correct. The difficulty arises because in order to meet the low energy consumption guidelines the temperature difference between the outgoing and incoming air must be small, which means natural convection will be very slow. Thus in order to achieve the standards you would need to connect very many heat exchangers in parallel ( which is equivalent to use one with a huge cross sectional area ). 13:04, 31 March 2007 (UTC)


50pa is about 100000Pa lower than atomospheric pressure. I'm gonna guess that was a typo in the article, but i have no idea what the actual standard is. Anyone who knows should probably fix it. Henry Corvel 21:11, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

50Pa is the pressure difference between the inside and outside; i.e. the building is tested at a pressure of 50Pa below local atmospheric pressure. I'll clarify the article. Gralo 14:19, 10 May 2007 (UTC), corrected 14 May 2007
I thought so, but i didn't want to change anything without proper knowledge of it. Thanks. Henry Corvel 19:07, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

Sick building[edit]

Wouldn't a building as well insulated as a Passivhaus be susceptible to sick building syndrome and the passing of microbes between inhabitants (important in the case of office buildings)? Shouldn't some mention be made of this? DirectorStratton 03:26, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

Passivhaus buildings involve a combination of inter-related and inter-dependent technologies and techniques and it is important that all are incorporated into the building. Provided this is done then sick building syndrome is unlikely. Certain aspects of the specification help to guard against this - for example the high levels of window insulation decrease the chances of mould forming as the surface temperatures are higher than in traditional buildings, and a carefully designed ventilation system maintains a regular (but carefully controlled) flow of fresh air, even with all the windows closed. Also, each building can be (and must be) proven using the specially developed and tested Passivhaus simulation software before being built. Gralo 14:04, 14 May 2007 (UTC)
Answers are already given in the sick building syndrome article: In most oft the sick building cases the reason was moisture and mold grow. There are a lot of different possible reasons for high moisture contend in building materials (like leaks in the roof, broken water pipes etc.). However, an important one is high air humidity due to (too) low ventilation rates. That is the main motivation why a sufficient ventilation system is required in a passive house. The minimum passive house ventilation requirement of 0.3 ach just meets the requirement of some 8 airchanges per day given in the recommondation. There have been, however, a couple of scientific publications on indoor air quality measurements in passive houses, always proving it has been very good. User: W. Feist, 2007-May-25

42 kWh/m² ?[edit]

The article says: The Passivhaus standard for central Europe requires that the building fulfills the following requirements: ... Total energy consumption (energy for heating, hot water and electricity) must not be more than 42 kWh/m² per year [14]

I don't think that is correct. The references refer to CEPHEUS but CEPHEUS does not set the standard, PHI does and I haven't seen that figure in PHI documents or for that matter anywhere else. Further at it says: "The target of the CEPHEUS project is to keep the total final energy demand for space heating, domestic hot water and household appliances below 42 kWh/(m²a)."

That is, the 42 kWh is a goal - not a requirement - even for CEPHEUS.

42 kWh/m2a is definitely not a Passive House criterion. Strictly speaking, the only two energy-related requirements are 120 kWh/m2•a for total primary (source) energy demand and 15 kWh/m2•a for specific heat demand. It's possible, however, that in the CEPHUS reference cited above this value referred to the total energy consumption measured on site, rather than the total energy consumption measured at the source. Either way, it's always important to note that these values are in reference to the Treated Floor Area (TFA), which weights spaces based on their usability as inhabitable space and defines an energy reference area that is significantly smaller than the gross floor area.
Makaut (talk) 16:48, 8 October 2009 (UTC)

passive house at the olympic winter games in Vancouver/Whistler 2010[edit]

I would like to suggest adding a link to a news article about a passive house which is being built by the APG (Austrian Passive House Group) in partnership with the Resort Municipality of Whistler based on a shared commitment to developing innovative, sustainable technology and to introducing the international audience to the passive house technology.

the link is for the news article --EMSR (talk) 08:16, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

External links to add[edit]

I would suggest adding the following external links:
Passivhaus Institut, the certifying agency for Europe & Passive House research institute
Passive House Institute U.S. (PHIUS), the certifying institute for the U.S.
Makaut (talk) 19:11, 8 October 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for the suggestion! I went ahead and added them to the article, but next time feel free to be bold and add them yourself! mcs (talk) 07:08, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

Very cool summers[edit]

Section Construction costs states: "Some buildings can also shift cooling from the summer to the winter.". Isn't the other way around, "Some buildings can also shift cooling from the winter to the summer."? --Mortense (talk) 21:43, 23 January 2011 (UTC)


Much of this article appears to have either been translated directly from German or perhaps written by a non-English speaking native? This makes the writing somewhat cumbersome and difficult to comprehend — and in some cases can present critical problems with the intent. See above. Also, the article seems to labor between a somewhat proprietary German system — and an open, general description of principles and methodologies. Could this be clarified in the structure of the article? 842U (talk) 14:19, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

Indeed, I also take issue with the title of the article: "Haus" in German translates primarily as 'building', not 'house'. It should be "passive building" IMHO, and there seem to be evidence of this usage in English. (Google shows lots of "passive house" usage, but it's mostly on German sites, or occasionally referring specifically to residential buildings.) — tooki (talk) 21:50, 6 September 2012 (UTC)
Tooki, Passivhaus is usually translated as "Passive House" in english, and either term is essentially used as a proper name, not a noun modified by an adjective. As in "Passive House certification" or "Passivhaus certification". So I don't think you should treat it as literal. I usually say "Passivhaus" simply because to me it really is a brand, and so there seems no point in translating it. Abhayakara (talk) 18:16, 3 March 2014 (UTC)