Detailed design of a passive house

A passive house is only possible when it is built with the highest quality. To make this possible it is necessary to go in the right way the path of development of each individual object. The general steps are:

  1. High quality and detailed design,
  2. Proper selection of suppliers and contractors
  3. Professional organization of the construction process,
  4. Daily strict quality control and
  5. Compliance with certain procedures in commissioning.

None of these five components of the sequence of good practice in the construction of passive houses can be ignored or underestimated, but let us pay special attention to design.

The qualities of the project determine the qualities of the future building. Therefore, the design documentation must be perfect, product of a team with extensive experience in passive houses. Subtleties are many, and gaps and errors due to lack of experience can lead to very unpleasant consequences as ill operation, failure of achieving the parameters and the comfort of a passive house. Specific in the design of passive houses are a few basic requirements:

  • Integrated design and holistic approach, with the involvement of all professionals from the start of design till completion of construction.
  • Energy calculations via PHPP during all phases of design, starting from the first steps of the conceptual sketches.
  • Calculation of thermal bridges where necessary and inputting values in PHPP.
  • Deeply detailed design, including assembly drawings and plans, as well as detailing all in scale 1:10 and 1: 5, up till complete depletion of the specifics of the construction. Often, even small projects require the preparation of hundreds of detailed drawings and assembly plans. The designer has to define and specify the building completely, so that the contractor can get a real 100% clear understanding what he will have to build.

Elaborate design and specifications are a good basis for the conclusion of fair contracts for construction, budget predictability, then quality control and acceptance.

Quality design saves unnecessary investments. The experienced designer knows well the market of components and sets the most appropriate of them, simultaneously balancing the budget and the energy model of the passive house. So achieves optimal results at the lowest investment costs.

Later during construction, thanks to the quality design errors are avoided and the need for remaking is eliminated. These always lead to unnecessary costs. Generally, these costs are covered by the investor, because ultimately he pays directly or indirectly for the whole building.