When building a new home, a minimum energy standard – set by the UK’s current building regulations – needs to be met.
The social housing sector must build to meet tougher standards, laid out in the Code for Sustainable Homes.
However, these standards can be somewhat of a ‘red herring’ where cost savings are concerned; as energy usage is defined by carbon emissions, rather than the quantity of energy used, many of these homes find themselves fitted with unnecessary, expensive biomass fuelled boilers to reach their targets.
The Passive House standard offers an alternate approach: focusing on retaining and recovering energy through the use of efficient ventilation and high quality fabrics, it has been dubbed as a healthier and more ecological housebuilding solution.
Despite the use of high quality fabrics and a scientific approach to planning, a Passive House in the UK will only cost 8% more to construct than a standard property.
With running costs of up to 20 times less than the average home, a UK gas bill of £1,400 per annum can be reduced to £70 per annum in a Passive House.
The comfort and quality of air inside a Passive House is known to have a positive effect on the health of its inhabitants.
Because of the unique way in which a Passive House is constructed, mould and condensation are non-existent, eliminating a common risk to health that many homeowners are faced with.
Passive House buildings are sealed to sustain temperatures at a constant level; they also offer optimum ventilation via mechanical ventilation heat recovery.
The ‘passive’ production of the buildings’ energy – coupled with its minimal heating and cooling consumption – also results in a nominal environmental impact.
Zehnder Group UK Ltd
Unit 4, Watchmoor Point
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