PASSIVE HOUSE WINDOWS
How do Passive House windows reduce your energy expenses?
A Passive House is thoughtfully designed to reduce a home’s energy consumption by 90%, while improving the air quality, insulation, durability, and overall comfort experienced in the home. Its design takes into account all functional elements within a home and its external environment to produce a harmonious and self-sufficient building. The Passive House standard has also been applied to windows and doors, in order to meet the stringent construction requirements.
Passive House Window Technology
The fundamental principles distinguishing Passive House technology are: sun orientation and solar heat gain, airtightness, thermal bridging, heat recovery, cross ventilation, and superior insulation to name a few.
Developed in Europe, the Passive House standard has revolutionized the construction and performance of European windows and doors. The certification requires that windows meet a Uw value below 0.8 W/m²K, far outperforming the average North American triple-glazed window reaching only 1.3 W/m²K.
The U value is a measure of the window or door’s overall level of conductivity (frame and glazing), in other words, it’s ability to keep heat and cold out. It indicates the difference between the exterior and interior temperature of the window. Ultimately, the lower the U value, the greater the performance and insulation properties of the window. For example, on a -30°C winter day, the glass temperature of a high-perfomance window will remain steady at 20°C, avoiding unwanted heat loss and expensive heating bills.
The innovative chamber construction and use of non-conductive materials, such as uPVC, significantly improve the thermal efficiency of the window profile. Therefore, both warm and cool temperatures are regulated to keep interior room temperatures stable and comfortable.
Solar Heat Gain Coefficient
Glazing and sun-orientation are two key factors that allow a home to reap the benefits of natural heat sources, significantly reducing both energy consumption and heat loss.
The Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) indicates the amount of heat gained and transmitted through the glass when exposed to direct solar contact.
Increasing or reducing the SHGC for rooms that lack or allow too much natural sunlight into the home can have a significant impact on energy efficiency. During the winter months, an increased SHGC allows more heat to be transmitted into the home, a cost-effective and convenient means of stabilizing indoor temperatures. Sun orientation is therefore an important consideration in Passive House and Net Zero home design, as it can greatly affect the distribution of heat and energy consumption.
Alberta’s First Passive Solar Net Zero Home
It was pleasure to be a part of our clients’ dream project – their custom energy-efficient home and Alberta’s first “damn near” Passive Solar Net Zero Home. This home was thoughtfully designed to minimize energy use with key design principles and energy-efficient building materials. “We wanted a future where when our mortgage was paid for, we would have 0$ annual utility costs, while building a cozy healthy home that produced zero greenhouse gas emissions.”
- 0$ annual energy cost
- Building premium costs are offset by NO natural gas delivery charges
- Build a more efficient home and pay the same amount annually
Chelsah Thomas and her husband built their home using passive house principles and solar energy, to live sustainably and self-sufficiently.
Using an off-grid and grid-tied solar system, the home is supplied with electricity and the excess can be exported into the grid to recover costs more quickly. Internorm Passive House triple-glazed windows and doors optimize thermal efficiency with 48mm glazing and U values below 0.60 W/m²K.
Having completed her Passive House Design certification, Thomas envisions to offer the energy services that were once inaccessible when she first began planning her home.
High performance building materials are a future-proof investment. The end result is a home that uses up to 90% less energy than a conventional build, improved air quality, little maintenance, and unparalleled durability. Whether your next project is a renovation or a new construction home, make an informed decision about the appropriate materials and level of insulation required to achieve greater energy-efficiency.