People planning to build a new home could save themselves thousands of euro each year by developing a passive house.
That is according to the Passive House Association of Ireland (PHAI), a low energy design initiative comprising passive house designers and contractors. The Association, which was officially launched in Dublin recently, will operate in tandem with the ‘International Passive House Association’.
Passive house is the term used for a house which has no heating system installed, but whose occupants, rely on maximum heat gains from sunlight, high insulation and draught-proofing levels, for a comfortable and healthy lifestyle.
“Passive houses are leading the way toward a carbon-neutral future by producing more energy than they use and radically reducing fuel bills and C02 emissions”, explains PHAI chairman Martin Murray.
He continues: “The Government’s Building Regulations have lead to some improvements in energy efficiency in Ireland, but remain a minimum guide. Those in the construction industry and prospective homeowners, however, need to take the lead and invest in proper design. By doing so their homes will be energy efficient, therefore, helping to reduce their energy bills along with reducing overall CO2 emissions. The infrastructure required to implement such designs is available and affordable in Ireland, despite claims to the contrary from elements within the Irish Construction Industry.”
The idea of passive house construction is not new, as there are now over 30,000 examples built world-wide. “These include many other types of building besides houses, such as, office-blocks, apartment-blocks, schools, and just recently a Tesco supermarket in Tramore, County Waterford. In each case, the building occupant has made considerable savings by not having to invest heavily in heating oil, gas or other fuel,” he points out.