Derived from German Passivhaus, Passive House is a construction concept that aims to reduce the ecological footprint
Getting to Know the Passive House Concept Part 1
Australia Passive House Association
and energy consumption of a house  with a focus on delivering high thermal comfort. Passive House uses energy sources inside the building such as the body heat of resident and heat from appliances, to help warm the house and circulating air-flow for good indoor air quality to provide thermal comfort. In a nutshell, Passive House is a building that uses low energy to provide high comfort.

Air-tightness is a key concept in achieving the Passive House standard. This requires a window system with good seals as well as good insulation in the building envelope such as roof, walls and floor. Adequate insulation and seals are fundamental to retain heat during winter and keep heat out during summer. Once the building is air-tight, it is important to ensure adequate fresh air flow inside. A Mechanical Heat Recovery Ventilation (MHRV) system would be the best way to do this in a Passive House – as it keeps a consistent supply of fresh air for good air quality without causing any unpleasant draughts. If the design is executed well, a Passive House could save over 75% of energy consumption compared to the average new build.

With occupant comfort, energy efficiency and operational cost based on a single residential building, Australia Passive House Association (APHA) have created an online tool to help us understand more about the Passive House design and its potential performance. Through this tool, APHA aims to close the performance gap between the design phase and the actual built outcome. The tool demonstrates the energy use and thermal comfort of the design and helps uncover the homes that are likely to underperform. Surprisingly higher rated homes under the NatHERS rating scheme do not necessarily comply with the Passive House standard which focuses on both thermal comfort and energy use.
Through this online tool, the user can investigate the potential energy savings, increased thermal comfort and reduced utility bills of a Passive House design.

Read more about Passive House in Sydney & Performance Gap Tool
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