Passivhaus: get to know the requirements

The term Passivhaus, emerged in the late 1980s in Germany. This building standard arose from the interest in building houses with minimum energy consumption.

It is necessary to comply with certain requirements that have to do with: energy efficiency, comfort and habitability, and affordability.


Now that you know its origins and why this standard arose, let's see what are the requirements to have a Passivhaus:

  1. Thermal insulation: The building envelope is one of the most important factors and must be taken into account. It is composed of the slab, the exterior walls and the roof. The insulation is located inside the building and its thickness will vary depending on the geographical area where we are. One thing is clear, the more ecological and sustainable it is, the better. We will avoid at all costs rock wool fiber, polystyrene and similar materials.

  2. Windows and doors: We must have a good criterion when choosing the carpentry, as it plays a very important role in terms of thermal and acoustic insulation. In Ecovip we bet on aluminum or PVC carpentry. Both solutions give us high performance that help us to comply with the standard.

  3. Thermal bridges: Controlling thermal bridges completely will prevent the appearance of fungus, humidity... caused by pathologies due to condensation. Having a continuous and good quality insulation, avoiding joints in the construction, allows us to avoid the generation of thermal bridges.

  4. Air tightness: It is time to have an airtight envelope that allows the mechanical ventilation system to work properly. This point goes hand in hand with the previous four. We will check the air tightness with the Blower Door test. With this test we create a pressure difference between the inside and the outside of the house by injecting air through a fan through the main door. We should obtain a result of less than 0.6 air renewals per hour at a pressure differential of 50 Pa.

  5. Mechanical ventilation with double flow heat recovery: This point is directly connected to the previous point and is directly related to air tightness. In point four, we were looking for an airtight space without thermal bridges. To ensure indoor air quality, thermal comfort and benefit from energy savings, we must use a mechanical ventilation system with double-flow heat recovery. In this way we gain in comfort and efficiency, since we limit the heating and cooling demand to about 15 kWh/(m²a).

Requirements to obtain the Passivhaus certificate

Having reviewed the requirements for a passive house, let's get a little more technical and talk about the (numerical) requirements to obtain the Passivhaus certificate:

  • It should be noted that heating consumption must be less than 15 kWh/(m²a).

  • Similarly the cooling consumption must be less than 15 kWh/(m²a). In terms of primary energy use for electricity, hot water and heating, it should be less than 120 kWh/(m²a).

  • In terms of airtightness, it must be less than 0.6 air renewals per hour (value with a pressure differential of 50 Pa).

Benefits of the Passivhaus

Now that we have reviewed the requirements that make up a passive house, we want to show you the advantages of living in a Passivhaus and why they are so interesting:

- You will have energy savings: The combination of factors that we have discussed above (good thermal insulation, high performance carpentry, absence of thermal bridges, air tightness and mechanical ventilation with double flow heat recovery), together with a good solar orientation of your new home will allow you to reduce energy consumption. The combination of all these factors, combined with the use of solar panels will maximize your energy savings.

- Comfort and well-being at home: This is one of the star benefits of passive houses. The Passivhaus standard allows you to have an ideal temperature inside your home. Without the need for air conditioning support, we achieve optimum comfort and wellbeing throughout the year. In addition, the mechanical ventilation system with double flow heat recovery helps us to maintain a stable temperature. In this way we avoid sudden temperature changes.

- Prevents and reduces respiratory diseases: Another of the benefits that we find in a passive house, for Ecovip is one of the most important, is the prevention of respiratory diseases. This is achieved thanks to the constant renewal of air, the incidence of the sun and the use of natural materials.

- You also take care of the environment: Let's go for the last benefit on the list. The Passivhaus standard puts the focus on both the inhabitants of the buildings and the planet we live on. The use of natural and sustainable materials, the search for energy savings and the comfort and well-being of the inhabitants is directly linked to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. All these points help us to add up and allow us to do our bit in the fight against climate change.

At Ecovip we go a step further and we are committed to healthy homes, we apply Passivhaus standards while seeking excellence in the materials that make up the entire house. We believe in a conscious construction with the planet and our customers, we create toxic-free spaces, we use sustainable, efficient and ecological materials.

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