Passive Home Design is a construction concept that has gained popularity due to cost and energy saving benefits.
Passive homes utilize all of the heat and energy sources inside of a building such as body heat from the residents or captured heat from the sun to help heat the home. Passive homes are well insulated, so that they can keep heat in during the cold winter months and keep heat out during the hot summer months. Passive homes also use highly efficient heat recovery ventilation systems to preserve interior temperature and drastically improve air quality.
As of 2016, there were approximately 60,000 Passive House buildings worldwide. Since its inception in the late 90’s, the Passive House Standard has spread all over the world. Passive Houses have a large presence in European countries, predominantly Germany, where this concept originated. The United States, Canada, and Japan are also beginning to see a higher level of interest in the many benefits of Passive Home Design.
Passive homes offer superior comfort for homeowners. Hot and cold spots are eliminated with Passive Home Design so that an even temperature can be maintained throughout the home. With a passive home, you will no longer be cold in your den in the winter because the windows have poor insulation, nor will you be hot in your dining room in the summer because the window placement allows too much of the sun inside. With a passive home, you will experience superior levels of climate control.
Passive houses use extremely little energy – roughly a tenth of that of a conventional home, homeowners seek passive homes to reduce their environmental impact. The Passive House Standard provides this level of sustainability for anyone wishing to build a new construction or renovating an older one.
Passive Homes not only save money over the long term but can be surprisingly affordable to begin with. Yes the building materials are on average 10% more than conventional homes, but a majority of those costs are offset by the savings on heating and cooling. Passive home homeowners can save up to 90% on energy bills each month which will easily offset the extra 10% in building costs required.
Additionally, many local governments and banks seek to aid those looking to reach the Passive Home Standard with grants and other incentives. TD, RBC and BMO offer mortgage and renovation discounts if the home reaches a certain level of energy efficiency. Research your municipality to see if there are any discounts or tax credits available!