The Passive House Standard excels due to its extremely high energy savings in comparison with ordinary new constructions. These savings are achieved by efficient buildings and efficient building engineering systems and not by living “economically”. Besides careful planning of details, this requires the use of particularly energy-efficient components –which are generally about two to four times as efficient as the products commonly used. High efficiency is decisive for achieving the Passive House Standard. For the user it is not easy to determine clearly the relevant specific values of the related products, especially with regard to their permanency. Relevant experiences with initial Passive House projects prompted the Passive House Institute to formulate practice-oriented, easily checkable and clearly ascertainable criteria which need to be met by Passive-House-suitable products. These criteria are based on two categories:
- living health and comfort (“comfort criteria”) and
- energy balance during practical application (“energy criteria”)
The Passive House requires high quality components: super-insulating window frames, highly efficient ventilation units, thermal bridge free connection details, glazing that allows solar gains, compact heat pump units… For the designer, assessing the energy efficiency of components and the specific values that have to be used can be rather difficult. Specific values as described in national or regional standards are very often unrealistic or not accurate enough; reliable project planning using manufacturers’ information alone is often not possible.
As an independent authority, the Passive House Institute tests and certifies products based on their suitability for use in Passive Houses. Products that carry the “Certified Passive House Components” certificate have been tested according to uniform criteria; they are comparable in terms of their specific values, and are of excellent quality regarding energy efficiency. Their use facilitates the designer’s task and significantly contributes to ensuring the faultless functioning of the resulting Passive House.
Check on the Technical Data and Installation Instructions of the Certified PHS Airtightness System components: