Harnessing the Power of Passive House Principles: A Deep Dive into Passive House Homes, Windows and Doors

In a world increasingly conscious of its ecological footprint, the Passive House concept stands out as an innovative approach to sustainable living. By marrying smart design with high-performance products, Passive House principles can significantly reduce a building’s energy requirements. This article explores the role of Passive House windows and doors in creating eco-friendly, energy-efficient homes.

Understanding Passive House Principles and Homes

At its core, the Passive House concept aims to reduce a building’s environmental impact by minimizing its energy needs. This is achieved through a combination of high-quality insulation, triple-glazed windows, airtight building envelopes, and strategic orientation to harness solar gain1.

Passive Houses are designed to maintain a comfortable temperature year-round with minimal active heating or cooling systems. They do this by capitalizing on natural resources like sunlight and using them to their advantage.

The Dual Role of Passive House Windows

Windows play a critical role in passive house design. They serve a dual function – reducing heat loss and allowing for heat gain through solar irradiation2. These windows are typically triple-glazed and well-insulated to meet high thermal insulation requirements.

Highly thermally insulating windows, like those produced by Internorm, can achieve Ug values as low as 0.4 W/(m2K), contributing to a house’s overall energy efficiency3. These windows are designed to minimize heat loss while maximizing solar gain.

Strategic Planning and Positioning of Windows

The placement and orientation of windows in a Passive House should be carefully planned to maximize solar gain. South-facing windows receive more sunlight in winter and less in summer, reducing the need for additional sun protection4.

Conversely, east or west-facing windows may require sun protection due to the low position of the sun in summer. Passive Houses should maintain a maximum deviation of 10° from south-facing windows5. Local factors such as shading from other buildings or trees should also be considered in window planning.

Case Study: The “Schiestlhaus” in Styria, Austria

An excellent example of Passive House principles in action is the “Schiestlhaus” located in Styria, Austria. This Passive House employs highly insulating Internorm windows and fully integrated solar panels for energy efficiency6.

The Schiestlhaus received first prize in the federal provinces category of the “Energy Globe” award, demonstrating the effectiveness of Passive House principles7. The general planner for the Schiestlhaus was ARGE: pos architekten ZT-KG for planning and Treberspurg&Partner ZT GmbH for tender and building supervision8.

Conclusion

Passive House principles offer a sustainable solution for modern homes, with windows and doors playing a pivotal role in achieving energy efficiency. By incorporating these principles and using high-performance products like those offered by Internorm, homeowners can create comfortable, sustainable living spaces that truly stand the test of time.