Introduction to Passive House PassivHaus

What is Passive House / PassivHaus?

Originating from Germany, Passivhaus, also known as Passive House, is a major international standard for energy efficiency in buildings that drives forward a sustainable housing culture.

In 2010 the UK’s Passive House Trust was formed with the intention to deliver net zero new and existing buildings to help decarbonise indoor environments and to strengthen occupant health and well-being.

The Passivhaus Trust states that buildings are accountable for 35% of total global energy consumption and therefore contribute a significant amount to carbon emissions in the air. Passivehaus adopts a whole-building approach where energy efficiency, constant fresh air, superior internal comfort, and reducing noise pollution is key.

What are the principles of Passive House/Passivhaus?

Thermal Bridging – This will make sure walls, floors and roofs are insulated with no gaps, so that the need for heating and cooling is reduced.

High-quality Insulation – Quality of insulation is fundamental and this principle serves to minimise heat exchange with outdoor air, essentially tackling heat loss issues and being economical at the same time.

Enhanced windows – This ties in with the above principle as it’s for insulation purposes, good quality windows will ensure thermal conductivity is low.

Airtight construction – With airtightness there’s no uncontrolled airflow between indoor and outdoor environments.

Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery (MVHR) – This ensures there’s constant fresh air circulating indoors, along with minimal heat loss.

At Airflow, we are a proud member of the UK Passivhaus Trust and have a number of Passive House products available. We’ve manufactured the largest range of MVHR units (19 in total) that have the Passive House certification. And we can provide the needed accessories like ducting to complete a Passive House heat recovery system for your project.

The Duplexvent Adroit units listed above are ventilation units with state-of-the-art technology for medium-sized houses. Designed to provide essential ventilation and to save you money through its intelligent heat recovery facility, this system provides a cost-effective and environmentally friendly option for residential applications.

  • Up to 90% thermal efficiency
  • Automatic, 100% bypass
  • Triple filter design - ISO 16890 compliant
  • Integral carbon dioxide sensor
  • 'A' energy rating
  • Internet control by smartphone, tablet, or PC
  • Passive house certified

The Duplexvent Flexi units have powerful air delivery with low energy consumption and exceptionally high thermal efficiency. With a range of control options including Internet and BMS compatibility for "On Demand" ventilation the unit also incorporates an automatic, 100% summer by-pass to isolate the heat recovery function during the hotter months.

  • Excellent heat recovery efficiency of more than 90%
  • Compact design and high flexibility in unit positioning
  • Passive house certified
  • Up to 90% thermal efficiency
  • Automatic, 100% bypass
  • Electronic 10-step digital controller with LCD display

The Duplexvent Entro – H units are made with high-density EPP material which provides significant insulation and eliminates thermal bridging. They have low-energy EC fans that minimise the unit's energy consumption and can help you reduce your energy bills.

  • Up to 90% thermal efficiency
  • Automatic, 100% bypass
  • Adjustable control
  • The lightweight design allows for multiple install options
  • 'A' energy rating
  • Durable EPP casing
  • SAP Q eligible
  • Passive house certified

Passive House Building Requirements

‘‘In order to ensure excellent indoor air quality, Passive Houses always have a comfort ventilation system mechanically ventilating all rooms in the building. In most climates, a heat recovery unit ensures that the ventilation heat losses remain extremely low.’’

– Passive House Institute Building Certification Guide

If you’re in the midst of Passive House planning or simply want to delve into the requirements you can download a certification guide here.

For a building to meet the Passive House standard it must meet the following requirements:

Space Heating Energy Demand
Renewable Primary Energy Demand
Thermal Comfort
Passive House Construction Principles

Passive House MVHR Case Studies

Windermere Close - Manchester

  • (Residential)
  • Windermere Close, Manchester
  • Adroit MVHR Units: 6x Adroit DV96

Lily Thomas Court - Manchester

  • (Residential)
  • Lily Thomas Court - Manchester
  • Airflow MVHR Units: 21x Adroit DV80

St Benedict's School - London

  • (Commerical)
  • Montplier Avenue, Ealing, London
  • Airflow MVHR Units: 16x Duplexvent Flexi DV1100 - All supplied with electric heaters

Black Rock Street - Manchester

  • (Residential)
  • Black Rock Street, Manchester
  • Airflow MVHR Units: 6x Adroit DV96

The Ecology Centre - Kinghorn

  • (Commercial)
  • Kinghorn Lock, Burntisland
  • Adroit MVHR Units: 1x Duplexvent Flexi DV1600