A few weeks ago, we published an article about Energy Efficiency Certificate and its utility for getting more efficient houses -energetically speaking-, and with less CO2 emissions; and inevitably Passive Houses came to our mind. Because as it is indicated in the title, what could be a future prototype, it became a reality of our present. Up to this point, I had the need to write this article, explain what they are, how they work and the current projection that they have in the market.

Passive House -or Passivhaus, which is a German term- is a standard construction for buildings with energetic efficiency, creating a very comfortable atmosphere inside the houses, and making them save energy up to 80% in comparison with the average consume of a «normal» house. Thus, it is not a commercial brand, but an international construction concept, that was implemented more than 20 years ago; independently that in Spain it is something relatively new.

The reason to consider them as «passive», is because they use those natural fonts of temperature that is around us -depending on the season or time of the year in which we are-, avoiding in this way the use of heating, air conditioning or artificial light; thanks to elements like triple glass windows, high isolated frames and others, that as a non-expert in this matter, I would prefer a technician with real knowledge on this, who can explain this.

In that sense, I have asked our collaborator Paco Rodriguez who is PhD. of Architecture and Civil Engineer, apart from being an expert on this field of Passive Houses, to explain in detail the advantages that this type of constructions gives, and the economic feasibility that they have for a «common» family, betting on a project like this.

 

 

According to Paco Rodriguez: «The Passive House standard, is more than a tag that you put on a house for marking it sustainable, it means a new philosophy both on construction and the life that its home inhabitance you will have. Thanks to the clear effects of the Climate Change, it is more and more necessary, not only reducing the energy consume, but also preserving what we found in our environment, making this a new habit that can generate many benefits.

For that purpose, Passive House has set a smarter building development in which is especially taken care of the skin that cover the construction, making that energy loss is minimum (typical example of a thermal packaging in which the drinks are cool or warm). Also, it develops a circulation stream of air inside-out very carefully, in addition, keep the temperature without need of heating or cooling, assuring the quality of air that we are breathing.

It is true that we think it is a more expensive construction, although it is proved that the Passive Houses only need 10% more of additional investments in comparison to the Spanish building standards. So, the level of savings will grow, and the return investment will come on the seventh year and multiply the benefits up to 20 time within 50 years.

Of course, house development and other buildings using this standard, makes a bet on the future that is very interesting from an economic and comfort point of view; and the unique requirements to guarantee the construction success, would be contacting a specialist from a company that has a certificate by the Passivhaus Institute, and there are more of them in Spain”.

 

People inside PH

Bien, pues una vez explicadas todas las ventajas y características esenciales de este sistema constructivo; vemos que ocurre como al principio con casi todos los avances tecnológicos e innovaciones que se introducen en el mercado, y todavía se encuentra en fase de maduración por parte de los consumidores. Siendo muy habitual el que nos lleve tiempo mentalizarnos de las ventajas reales que conlleva, antes de empezar a adoptarlo tanto a nivel normativo como práctico en nuestras edificaciones. De hecho, en el año 2017 apenas llegaban al 1% el número de edificios construídos bajo este estándar- según la PEP (Plataforma de Edificiación Passivhaus)-.

No obstante y como decía Paco Rodríguez, cada vez son más los técnicos y empresas especializadas y homologadas bajo este estándar en España, por lo que haciendo una vez más referencia al título del artículo, parece que las Passivhaus son ya una realidad y no cosa del futuro.

ESCRITO EN COLABORACIÓN CON: Francisco J. Rodríguez Lorenzo (Grupo Nacimiento) http://www.gruponacimiento.com