An Overview of Passive Homes

What are passive homes and how do they help to save both the environment and your wallet?

Passive homes are residences that require little to no active heating or cooling, thanks to their highly insulated envelopes and airtight construction. By using the sun’s energy and the occupants’ body heat, passive homes stay comfortable all year round while using a fraction of the energy of a conventional home.

Passive homes are not only good for the environment – they’re also good for your wallet!

Key Features

There are several key features that all passive homes share:

>> Thick insulation: The walls, floors, and ceilings of a passive home are all very well insulated. This ensures that heat stays inside during the winter and outside during the summer, maintaining a comfortable temperature no matter the time of year. To further improve your home’s eco-friendly credentials beyond its energy efficiency, using sustainable, non-toxic insulation is another way to dramatically reduce your property’s carbon footprint.

>> Airtight construction: To prevent heat from escaping, passive homes are built with tight seals around doors and windows. This means that with the rising cost of living and energy crisis, less of your hard-earned cash gets wasted on heating a home that is hemorrhaging heat energy.

>> Solar orientation: To take advantage of the sun’s energy, passive homes are designed to maximize solar gain in the winter and minimize it in the summer. This can be done with ultra-efficient glazed windows that create an energy barrier that prevents heat from entering or escaping, whilst also allowing natural light to flood in and reduce your reliance on artificial lighting. During the brighter months, the property will even make use of natural light sources, without acting like a greenhouse.

>> Heat recovery ventilation: Most homes need mechanical ventilation to bring in the fresh air and expel stale air. In a passive home, this ventilation system is designed to recover the heat from the outgoing air and use it to warm up the incoming air. That means that even during the coldest winter months, your home will feel fresh and warm, and you won’t lose all your heat out of an open window.

These features work together to create a home that is comfortable and efficient all year round. And because passive homes use so little energy, they can even be powered by renewable energy sources like solar panels and wind turbines. That allows you to further lower the carbon emissions of your property, whilst reducing your reliance on the national grid. And the best part is if your home produces more energy than it needs, you can sell that energy back to the grid and make some money.

Final Thoughts

If you’re interested in learning more about passive homes, or if you’re thinking about building one yourself, we’re here to help you to design, plan, and build your dream project to fit your budget. With over 50 years of experience, Halsteads has been providing consulting engineering services to high-end residential and commercial clients across London and the surrounding counties. Our network of London’s leading architects, and interior designers, can help turn your passive home dream into reality. Fill out a form on our contact page, or call 0208 445 7721, to book a free consultation and quote.