Discover passive architecture: all the keys to a sustainable house

Maybe the name sounds a bit strange to you, but I'm sure that the concept is totally learned. In the time that we have to live Energy efficiency and sustainability They must be one of the priorities in all areas. And that's what passive architecture is all about, turning that efficiency into an essential aspect.

Source: Passive House Institute

La passive architecture consists of a specific way of designing constructions in which the fundamental objective to pursue is the energy efficiency. In this way, the initial planning of the buildings is done with sustainability in mind and respect for the environment.

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This architectural movement emerged around the 70 years, although it was not until twenty years later, in the 90, when it was developed. The houses created from the passive architecture try to adapt to the environment to reduce the environmental impact.

And how do they get it? Especially taking advantage of the energy and sunlight, favoring isolation and betting on renewable energy sources.

The basics of passive architecture

Source: Hanson

As they are the passive houses? Can I convert my home into a passive house? These types of constructions are the most efficient that exist today, and have the highest energy rating.

They are designed from the beginning based on certain factors, so it is not about converting the houses already built into more sustainable homes, but about create them from the design phase.

For this, we must take into account some fundamental aspects. The house has to be well oriented, with a good exposure to sunlight. It must be considered the thermal isolation, as a strong point to make the interiors comfortable and efficient.

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With these premises the construction may be more economically expensive, but it will always be worth it in the long term.

The orientation and the use of sunlight

Source: Hanson

One of the pillars of energy saving and, therefore, of efficiency, is the best possible use of sunlight. And in this sense, in Spain we have great luck because, thanks to our privileged climate, we have many hours of sunlight at the end of the year.

To convert these hours of light into a source of savings, we must seek that our house is well oriented. And that's what passive architecture is about. In considering how a construction has to be oriented on the site in question to enjoy the greatest possible amount of light.

Source: Hanson

This will make the house warmer in winter by reducing the use of other heating sources. If we live in a geographical area with a warm climate, we must also think about summer and the best way to Refrigerate the house naturally. In this sense, that the house has crossed ventilation It is important, as well as having protections against the intense summer sun: blinds, awnings, etc.

All for the isolation

Source: Hanson

This is one of the strong points for which the passive architecture advocates. And is that a well-insulated house It is a much more efficient house. What is the use of having the best heating system If the heat escapes through the windows or through the roof of our house? Absolutely nothing. We will spend a lot of money and we will not achieve a comfortable atmosphere inside.

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Therefore, before thinking if you need this or that source of heat, make sure your home gets a good note in isolation. From remarkable high to outstanding. Think that in the air conditioning of your house (either heat in winter or cold in summer) you will go around the 50% of total energy consumption.

Source: Rehau

When facing the isolation of a house, the passive architecture indicates that this It must be continuous and wrap the whole building, from the roof to the facades, floors and windows. It is necessary to deal with the question of thermal insulation in the first phases of design and construction. This way your house will be much more comfortable and your pocket will thank you.

Betting on renewable energy sources

Source: Hanson

I know that at first the new can be somewhat risky. We have to make an initial investment without full guarantee on how this type of investment will work renewable energy (regulation, efficiency, consumption, etc.). However, the passive architecture does not contemplate other options because the priority for this is the sustainability of housing.

That's why he's betting clean and totally renewable energy sources like solar energy, in the form of photovoltaic solar panels that produce the electricity we need at home, as well as sanitary hot water.

For heating, a source of energy accepted by the passive architecture are the biomass stoves or pellets, They use fuel produced from organic vegetable substances, and they are not very polluting.

The objective of the passive architecture is create sustainable housing and buildings, that it is not a threat to the ecosystem, and that at the same time they are practical, comfortable and welcoming. And you? What do you think about passive architecture?