What is a Passive House?
Information about Passive Houses on the Costa Blanca, so what exactly is a Passive House, well one of the first things I have to point out is, that it isn’t necessarily a house at all! In fact a Passive House is any kind of building, constructed or refurbished in adherence to the Passiv Haus Standards and the term Passiv Haus actually originates in Germany where a Haus does not always describe the place we live in but is a loose term for building, like Rathaus(Town Hall) or Slachthaus,(Abattoir) for example
Put in a nutshell to be able to gain a Passiv Haus certificate the building must be constructed or refurbished adhering to the standards set down by Bo Adamson and Wolfgang Feist back in the late 1980’s. These standards were created with the intention of designing properties which would leave as small an ecological footprint as possible by achieving the lowest possible level of energy consumption.
This extremely low level of energy consumption is achieved by wrapping the property in an envelope of super insulation. Then by combining this insulation with high performance windows and the installation of a heat pump and air filter system to regulate the air quality and temperature inside the property.
To read an interview in which Dr Feist goes into detail about exactly what a Passive House is, click here
What a Passive House is not.
Even though a Passiv Haus should use as little energy as possible it is not a nett zero energy property or if you’re not familiar with the term a property which only uses as much energy as it produces. A Passiv Haus is also not, a zero energy plus property, or a property which actually produces more energy than it uses.
History of Passive House
As previously mentioned the Passiv Haus Standard was the result of a conversation between Adamson and Feist and the statndards were set down 1988. The first Passiv properties a row of four terraced houses followed c couple of years later in Darmstadt in Germany. Even though this was the first time the standards were laid down it was not the first time attempts had been made to make low energy properties. The first endeavours were made by North American builders who in response to the oil embargo in the 1970s sought to build houses that used little or no energy.
In 1996 the Passivhaus Institute was founded in Darmstadt in Germany and by 2010 around 25,000 Passivhaus structures had been built in Germany Austria and other countries around the globe.
Incidentally the world’s tallest building, an 88m high 171 unit tower, constructed to the Passiv Haus Standard is in the Bolueta district in Bilbao, Spain. China held the 23rd annual Passiv Haus Conference in 2019 and apart from building the world’s largest Passiv Haus project they are also taking a leading position in Passiv Haus construction with 73 companies making windows to Passiv Haus standards.
Is there a need for Passiv Haus on the Costa Blanca?
This is actually quite an interesting question, taking our climate and lifestyle into consideration is there actually a need for Passive Houses on the Costa Blanca? For me the answer lies in the state of the planet finally over the last few years the majority of governments around the globe have come to openly accept that as far as our environment is concerned we are faced with some very serious issues and that climate change is an undeniable fact, what causes the climate to change is still up for debate but at least most people now seem to accept that it is actually happening.
With this realisation we have also come to understand that energy is an extremely valuable resource so we should be using as little of it as possible. This in turn means that our buildings and this includes everything from hospitals and supermarkets to villas and apartments should be designed and built or refurbished in such a way that they use as little energy as possible.
Of course most countries in Europe already have guidelines in place when it comes to construction but in my opinion the energy savings offered by Passiv Haus standard buildings are so great that adopting these standards across the board can only have a positive effect on our environment. However, this doesn’t mean that I think that using the property according to the Passivhaus principles 24/7 is a viable option in this part of the world because there are many times during the year when daily life at home is a fusion of in and outdoor living but I do believe that building the property to such high insulation standards will have a very positive effect when it comes to heating or cooling the building.
Passive House Constructors on the Costa Blanca.
Passive House Properties haven’t conquered the Costa Blanca yet, so don’t expect to find a constructor or promotor on every street corner. In the meantime, whilst researching this article I came across two projects which might be of interest to you if you’re thinking of going down the Passive House route. If you’d like to take a look at what they have to offer you then just click here and here. As both companies are Spanish, just left me know if you need help with translations etc.
Passive House Designers and Trades People.
On the Costa Blanca there are already many certified Passiv Haus designers and trades people so if after reading this you’re thinking of refurbishing your existing property or having a new one built to passive house standards and you want to get in touch with a qualified person then click here.
Passive Houses on the Costa Blanca:
Now that I’ve come to the end of this piece, if you’d like to know more about me and what I can offer you, then click here.
If you would like to get an idea of what other kinds of property are available in this area then click here.
Please feel free to leave a comment and if you would like to get in touch with me for more information about Passive Houses in the area then just fill out the contact form below and I’ll be happy to help you.
That’s it from me, cheers,