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Passive House In Depth for Professionals
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Passive House In Depth for Professionals


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This was a presentation on Passive Houses I gave at a conference on sustainable architecture

This was a presentation on Passive Houses I gave at a conference on sustainable architecture

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    • 1. the ‘passive house’ energy design standard Dylan Lamar, BSCE Architecture Graduate Student making a leap toward carbon-neutral buildings
    • 2. Source: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Countering global warming requires rethinking every facet of human society.
    • 3. Source: UN Environmental Programme Source: Architecture 2030
    • 4.  
    • 5. the ‘passive house’ energy design standard an energy efficiency design standard (and methodology) achieving 90% reductions in space heating energy, and 70% reduction in total building energy use.
    • 6. “ Passive House?… didn’t we already try that back in the 80’s?”
      • From German: “Passivhaus”
      • Not limited to houses
      • House as Passive Machine
      • (not confined to passive
      • solar concerns)
      Source: Passivhaus Institut
    • 7. built examples in europe… First Passivhaus, Darmstadt, Germany, 1991 Supermarket Office Building Single-Family House
    • 8. built examples in Europe… Manufacturing Plant Austria Apartment building Cologne, Germany
    • 9. built examples in Europe… Gym Heidelberg, Germany School Waldshut, Germany
    • 10. the concept Concept Origin: “Tunneling through the cost barrier” – Amory Lovins, Rocky Mountain Institute Source: Passivhaus Institut
    • 11. the concept Source: Passivhaus Institut ACTIVE vs. PASSIVE
    • 12. the standard
      • Heating Energy Use < 15 kWh/m 2 yr (4,750 BTU/ft 2 yr)
      • Peak Heat Load < 10 W/m 2 (3.2 BTU/hr.ft 2 )
      • Airtightness: n 50 < 0.6 ACH (a typical residence is 5)
      • Total Primary Energy Use < 120 kWh/m 2 yr (38,000 BTU/ft 2 yr)
      “ A building which can meet its heating and cooling needs solely through conditioning the incoming fresh air volume required for good indoor air quality”
    • 13. design principles
      • First Minimize Losses…
        • Superinsulated & Airtight Envelope without thermal bridges
        • Heat Recovery Ventilation, >80% efficiency
      • Then Maximize Gain…
        • Passive Solar Gain (often optional)
        • Technology can easily be added in the future
      Source: Passivhaus Institut
    • 14. design principles: minimize losses
      • Continuous Insulation- creating steady indoor temperatures that won’t drop below 50 degrees without heating source
      • Airtightness- minimizes moisture diffusion into wall assembly
      • Thermal Bridge Free Construction- minimizes condensation/ building deterioration
      • Balanced Ventilation with Heat Recovery- exceptional indoor air-quality
      Source: Passivhaus Institut
    • 15. design principles: minimize losses Source: e-colab optimize the building… … to the heating system the “gas mileage” of a building:
    • 16. design principles: minimize losses Source: e-colab … not the heating system to the building.
    • 17. design principles: minimize losses Heat Recovery Ventilation
    • 18. the result Source: Passivhaus Institut
    • 19. the method
      • The “Passive House Planning Package” (PHPP)
        • An Excel-based steady-state energy design program
        • Extremely detailed
        • Calculations are transparent and customizable
    • 20. the method Empowering building designers with the necessary information to make the best decisions.
    • 21. a tour of Passive House design and construction…
      • Generating form based on energy concerns
      • -Compactness
      • -Glazing Area
      • Detailing the Continuous Thermal Envelope
      • -Eliminating thermal bridges
      • -Achieving airtightness
      • Simplifying the mechanical system
    • 22. generating form: compactness Model A
      • 1500 sq ft, Single-Story, 30’ x 50’ rectangular plan
      • ( Envelope Area-to-Floor Area Ratio, EA:TFA = 3.9 )
      • South glazing 10.8% of floor area.
    • 23. Model A as a Passive House
      • 1500 sq ft, Single-story Home (EA:TFA = 3.9)
      • Walls: 16” TJI Framing with Cellulose Insulation (R-58)
      • Roof: 24” Cellulose (R-86)
      • Below Slab: 12” EPS Styrofoam (R-47)
      • High-Performance Triple-Pane Windows w/ Insul. Frames
      • South: R-6.3 (U-0.16), SHGC=0.61
      • Other directions: R-8.3 (U-0.12), SHGC=0.37
      • High-Performance Insulated Doors (Air-tight)
      • Continuous Air Barrier w/ Heat Recovery Ventilation (  >70%)
      • Auxiliary Heating Source:
      Max Heat Load is about the same as the output of a large hair dryer A three-fold decrease in space heating energy use from a superinsulated envelope with only “high performance” double-pane windows.
    • 24. Model B A two-story version of Model A… 1500 sq ft, Double-story 25’ x 30’ ( EA:TFA = 2.9 ) Exact same windows and doors as Model A.
    • 25. Model C Rowhouse of Four 1500 sq ft, Double-story apartments, 100’ x 30’ ( EA:TFA = 2.2 ) Slightly less southern glazing (8.3% of floor area), no east/west windows or doors.
    • 26. This 4-unit Row House is 27% more compact than a stand-alone unit would be, but has 85% less space heating energy use (given the same insulation and windows). This allows insulation levels (and construction costs) to be decreased while still meeting the Passive House Standard… In fact, at this scale, insulated window frames are no longer necessary, and non-south facing windows can be double-pane, low-e (but south-facing glass must still be triple-pane). Compactness Study…
    • 27. generating form: compactness
      • Other issues:
      • Compactness is not always intuitive, especially as building size changes.
      • Compactness should not preclude daylighting and natural ventilation.
      • Architects must accept that if we intend to burn fossil fuels to condition our buildings, we must also accept our responsibility to create a conservative form.
      • We must accept the limitations of compact forms as a direct result of the limitations of renewable energy resources.
    • 28. the continuous thermal envelope
    • 29. Source: e-colab Floating slab allows continuous insulation
    • 30. passive house news… Source: e-colab
    • 31. Source: e-colab
    • 32. Passive House framing with TJI’s 12” Trusjoist TJI’s as wall studs Source: e-colab
    • 33. Source: Manfred Brausem
    • 34. passive house news… Source: e-colab
    • 35. passive house news… Source: e-colab
    • 36. Insulated header above window Source: e-colab
    • 37. Source: e-colab
    • 38. superinsulation without thermal bridges Miscellaneous Details… Wall/Roof Jog Door Threshold
    • 39.
      • Minimize roof penetrations by combining all plumbing fixtures to one vent
      Source: e-colab
    • 40. window issues…
      • Triple-pane with insulated frames
      • Inset within wall profile
    • 41. Continuous air barrier is applied to achieve… … Air Leakage (@ 50 Pa) of less than 0.6 house volumes per hour airtightness…
    • 42. simplified mechanical system The “magic box” Source: Passivhaus Institut
    • 43. simplified mechanical system Because windows are so efficient, there is no need to locate heating registers adjacent to them, thus duct runs are shortened.
    • 44.
      • Ventilation ductwork fits within 2x4 wall
    • 45. Passive House development… CEPHEUS Project of 1999-2000
    • 46. passivhaus development… Renovation project Apartment building
    • 47. “ Passivhaus” turns “Passive House”
    • 48. The BioHaus at Concordia Language Center, Bemidji, Minnesota, 2006
    • 49. the passive house & affordable housing
    • 50. Prefabricated Panel Construction
    • 51.  
    • 52. the passive house & custom housing Taos, New Mexico Passive Conservation (Envelope Investment) Active Generation (Solar Collector Investment) Where is the optimum point on this spectrum?
    • 53. passive house news… October 19, 2007… Winner of the Solar Decathalon: Technische Universität Darmstadt
    • 54. passive house development…
    • 55. Conclusions
      • We cannot talk of sustainable development without solving the energy issue.
      • Piecemeal improvements will not get us there in time to prevent catastrophic climate change.
      • The Passive House method is the most ambitious and most verified energy efficiency design method
      • Given the Passive House methodology, architects are empowered with the necessary tools to make the right design decisions.
      For more information: [email_address]