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Passive Building
Passive Building
Passive building "Rombach"

From the energy-saving point of view, passive buildings are most advanced, and when considering the involved technology they can be constructed almost anywhere.

Heating needs of buildings in kilowatt-hours per square meter per year:

Passive Energy Building max. 15 KWh/m²*a

Low-Energy Building 40 – 79 KWh/m²*a

Three-Liter-Building 16 -- 39 KWh/m²*a

Zero-Energy Building/Energy-Producing Building 0 KWh/m²*a or energy surplus

Existing Buildings Depending on Insulation 80 – 300 KWh/m²*a

In this case, a quantity of heat corresponding to 10 KWh =: 1 liter of heating oil, 1 m³ of natural gas or 2 kg of woodpellets. Therefore, in a passive building only about 1.5 liters of heating oil would be used per square meter of living area each year. Heat gained from internal sources such as body heat or heat radiation from electrical appliances plays a large role in passive buildings.

This classification doesn’t have anything to do with the construction of low-energy buildings. For example, a one-bedroom apartment within a large complex and with an un-shaded south-facing window could, without special construction, reach the status of a passive building. On the other hand, for a single family house with a large south-facing outside surface area (i.e. a roof-top balcony, or bay windows) that is shaded by another building or trees and is also exposed to wind, substantial insulation would be needed in order to meet the energy requirements of a low-energy building.

Passive buildings usually require high quality insulation of the building’s outer layers as wells as a ventilation system capable of preventing heat loss. Detailed and current information is offered by the passive building institute (Passivhaus-Institut) in Darmstadt, Germany www.passiv.de.

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