Passivhaus

Rising fuel costs and a vital need to control the impact we have on the environment mean that energy efficiency has never been more important than it is right now.

With this very much in mind, Liniar developed and launched EnergyPlus90, a 90mm lead-free uPVC window and door system that is Passivhaus certified. But what exactly is Passivhaus?

Passivhaus explained

Regarded globally as the fastest growing energy performance standard, Passivhaus or ‘Passive House’, status has been achieved by more than 30,000 buildings to date – most since the year 2000.

A simplicity of approach has been a major reason for the success of the Passivhaus standard – design and build a property that has outstanding thermal performance and excellent airtightness with mechanical ventilation.

Following this attitude to building allows the architect to keep the heating demands of a property to a minimum, with only a heated towel rail specified in some residential houses as a conventional method of heating. The heat can then be recovered and circulated by a MVHR (mechanical ventilation and heat recovery) unit.

Origins of Passivhaus

Professors Wolfgang Feist of Germany and Bo Adamson of Sweden developed the Passivhaus standard in Germany at the beginning of the 1990s. The first properties to be completed to the Passivhaus Standard were built in Darmstadt in 1991.

As well as residential dwellings, commercial, industrial and public buildings can also benefit from the Passivhaus Standard.

A Passivhaus has been described as “a building, for which thermal comfort can be achieved solely by post-heating or post-cooling of the fresh air mass, which is required to achieve sufficient indoor air quality conditions – without the need for additional recirculation of air.”

This means that the requirements for heating a Passivhaus is so low that a traditional heating system isn’t essential. Lowering the temperature is achieved using the same principles, through the use of shading and, in some cases, via a pre-cooling of the supply air.

Passivhaus isn’t just focused on being an energy performance standard – it also provides excellent indoor air quality by reducing the air infiltration rates and supplying fresh air, filtered and post heated by the MVHR unit.

Going global

The Passivhause standard works equally well in warm climates as it does in more moderate climates and can be applied anywhere in the world.

So far, Passivhaus buildings have been designed and constructed all across Europe, Australia, China, Japan, Canada, the USA and South America.

A research station has even been built in Antarctica to Passivhaus standards!

Fuel independence

It’s becoming increasingly important to reduced our dependence on fossil fuels as we become more aware of fuel poverty.

With the price of fuel continuing to rise, the low heating demand of a Passivhaus buildings of less than 15 kWh per square metre per year, means that annual fuel costs are reduced by a factor of 5-10.

For example, a household living in a 70m² Passivhaus with gas heating, could spend as little as £25 on space heating each year!

Advanced window technology

To meet the requirements of the Passivhaus standard, windows have to manufactured with exceptionally low U-values for the entire window, including the frame.

Liniar’s EnergyPlus90 system is Passivhaus compliant with laminate glazing included and can achieve U-Values as low as 0.7 W/m²K with triple glazing, quadruple glazed as low as 0.5 W/m²K and a Windows Energy Rating as high as A+40.