Passivhaus is a very promising approach to building that exemplifies our green focus. It is a performance-based certification standard that emphasizes reducing energy consumption during a building’s operational lifespan. This standard is achieved primarily through:
- paying special attention to air-tightness
- quality windows and doors
- generous insulation throughout the envelope
- reducing thermal bridging (and other wasteful energy losses)
- orienting windows to take advantage of solar heat gain
- excellent ventilation and heat recovery
With an airtight, well-insulated envelope and careful energy modeling during the planning phase, the Passivhaus home’s operating energy needs are reduced by up to 90 per cent, and the required heating systems are downsized drastically, offsetting part of the initial investment. Considering that 80 per cent of a home’s lifetime energy consumption is used during operation, as opposed to 20 per cent during construction, it is critical to think carefully about the entire life cycle of a home.
The City of Vancouver has mandated that all new buildings be carbon-neutral by 2030, and currently accepts Passivhaus as an alternative to LEED certification in rezoning and development approvals. They have released a Passive Design Toolkit to encourage architects and homeowners to begin adopting some of these tenets in their designs. Implementing even some of these approaches (without going for full certification) can reduce a building’s energy demand by 50 per cent. Maestro can help you get there.