4. Does a ‘Passive House’ building look different than other buildings?
Passive House does not dictate building shape or style. In order to meet the framework pillar criteria there may be some noticeable differences in detail such as:
- Thicker exterior envelope – foundation, roof and walls (with associated deeper exterior or interior window/door recess)
- Higher proportion of windows toward desired or away from undesired solar radiation (consideration of orientation based not only on street front, views or aesthetics)
- Small/compact and more centrally located HVAC and Domestic Hot Water systems
- Overhead and side/vertical glazing shading devices (roof overhangs, windows recessed, other overhead or side mounted shading devices) to prevent solar radiation gains when they are undesirable
- Varying glazing types (U value, Solar Heat Gain Coefficient) depending on climate or orientation
- Vented exterior building cladding to allow moisture within the building wall assemblies to drain and ‘sweat’ to the exterior
- A high efficiency energy recovery (heat only recovery in climates with stable/comfortable outdoor humidity levels year round) ventilator for continuous, filtered and proper quantity ventilation that recycles/retains desired indoor heat and humidity.
- May have strategically located operable windows at lower and upper floor levels in climates/seasons where night (cool) time natural ‘stack’ ventilation may be implemented.