Can My Existing Home Become a Passive House?

Passive House represents the pinnacle of energy efficiency in architectural design, demanding minimal energy for heating or cooling purposes. The primary goal of a Passive House is to create an environmentally friendly and comfortable living space by minimizing energy consumption and controlling the indoor environment through specific design principles and construction methodologies. A Passive House is also quiet, durable, healthy and resilient.

Objective of Passive House
Passive House design aims to foster an environmentally-friendly living area by maximizing energy efficiency. This objective is fulfilled by implementing a specific set of principles and construction techniques.

Understanding Passive House Standards
Passive House Standards refer to the criteria that buildings must meet to earn the ‘Passive House’ label. These criteria include heating and cooling demand, and air tightness. The design and construction of these energy-efficient buildings are guided by five principles: super-insulation, an airtight building envelope, high-performance glazing, thermal-bridge-free detailing, and heat recovery ventilation.

Retrofitting Existing Homes to Meet Passive House Standards
Refurbishing an existing home to meet Passive House standards involves updating mechanical systems, windows and doors, insulation, and the air barrier to improve energy performance. These upgrades, when taken together and properly executed, can elevate even an older home to a level of energy efficiency that greatly surpasses current building standards.

Applying Techniques and Materials for Retrofitting
Super-insulated envelopes are essential for achieving the high levels of energy efficiency required for Passive House buildings. The walls, roof, and floor of a Passive House building must be very well insulated to prevent heat from moving in and out of the house through conduction. Super-insulation is achieved by proper installation of high-performance insulation materials, such as blown-in c