Passive Pad: Energy Efficient Homes

Introduction to Passive Pads

This is our resource page for improving housing footprints by using energy more efficiently and accessing low carbon energy. The word “Passive” connotes freedom from active heating and cooling. A passive pad is so energy efficient that it maintains its internal environment regardless of the outside. Before we start, let’s review the concept of “Passivhaus” – it’s a real thing, and its what you want to aim for when you’re making your own home energy efficient.

What Is A Passivhaus (Passive House)

Passivhaus is a rigorous, voluntary standard for energy efficiency in a building, which reduces the building’s ecological footprint. It results in ultra-low energy buildings that require little energy for space heating or cooling.

A Passivhaus is designed to use an extremely well-insulated building envelope and high-performance windows to reduce the amount of heat lost through the building’s walls, roof, and floor. To ensure that fresh air is supplied to the building, a mechanical ventilation system is installed with highly efficient heat recovery. Passivhaus buildings also incorporate additional energy-saving features such as solar photovoltaic systems and rainwater harvesting.

Popularity Is Concentrated In Europe

Passivhaus is most popular in Europe, where it originated, but is growing in popularity around the world, including in the United States, Canada, Australia, and Japan.

Conversion Of Your Home Is Expensive

Yes, it is possible to convert your house to a Passivhaus, but it requires a significant investment in both time and money. The process usually involves improving the insulation of your walls, ceilings, and floors, installing efficient windows, and installing a mechanical ventilation system with heat recovery. In addition, you may need to make changes to your building envelope, such as adding air tightness barriers and airtight windows, and installing solar panels.

Number Of PassivHaus Worldwide

Passivhaus is becoming increasingly popular, but it is still relatively uncommon. According to recent estimates, there are currently over 25,000 certified Passivhaus buildings worldwide. A database of certified passivhauses is available but is not exhaustive.

Resources To Make Your House More Passive

To make your house more passive, it is important to ensure that it is well insulated, install energy-efficient windows and doors, seal up any air leaks, install a mechanical ventilation system with heat recovery, consider adding solar panels, install rainwater harvesting systems, install LED or CFL lightbulbs, and install a programmable thermostat. Here are resources from our site and also outside.

Resources From Shrink That Footprint

Shrink your housing footprint (an overview)

How big is a house? Average house size by country

Electricity emissions around the world

How do we use electricity?

How much heating energy do you use? 

Why a Passivhaus can insulate your from bills

Resources From around the web

Passive House Institute

Rocky Mountains Institute

Energy Saving Trust

Lindsay Wilson
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I founded Shrink That Footprint in November 2012, after a long period of research. For many years I have calculated, studied and worked with carbon footprints, and Shrink That Footprint is that interest come to life.

I have an Economics degree from UCL, have previously worked as an energy efficiency analyst at BNEF and continue to work as a strategy consultant at Maneas.  I have consulted to numerous clients in energy and finance, as well as the World Economic Forum.

When I’m not crunching carbon footprints you’ll often find me helping my two year old son tend to the tomatoes, salad and peppers growing in our upcycled greenhouse.

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