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Passive House.

Passive House is an internationally operated performance-based energy certification program with a goal of minimal energy consumption.

Insight designs Passive House residential and commercial buildings. Our energy efficient designs adapt to the climate and site and support Overall Health and Comfort of users.

The first passive house was built in 1991 in Darmstadt, Germany. More than 40,000 buildings have been constructed in the ensuing years, as Passive House has become the most tested and most rigorously verified performance-based building standard. Passive House uses on average 90% less energy than conventional construction. With such big energy savings, it is much easier to get to a net-zero, net-zero ready or net positive building.

Open Office Interiors at Pester USA in Huntersville, NC

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Schematic Design for a Net Zero High School, Socrates Academy, Matthews, NC

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Passive House Design Principles:

1. Continuous Thermal Insulation: Passive House designs building with adequate thermal insulation based on climate. The buildings have an interrupted continuous thermal layer. Think of it as a lunch box, insulation all around.
2. High performance windows & doors: The weakest link in a building are the openings, windows, and doors. Although an underground bunker would perform extremely well in terms of energy efficiency, not many users find this to be an acceptable environment for humans to live in.Passive House designs with high performance windows and doors that are strategically placed and optimized for solar heat gain.
3. Airtightness: Passive House buildings have a continuous uninterrupted air barrier to keep the energy within the building envelope preventing energy loss and saving energy. It also helps with moisture control.
4. Comfort ventilation with heat or energy recovery: In combination with an air-tight envelope continuous ventilation with heat recovery or energy recovery are used. This creates high indoor air quality environments that are free of outdoor pollutants and constantly cleared of indoor pollutants.
5. Thermal-bridge free design: Any time the insulation does not protect the structural elements the outdoor temperature can transfer through the structural element into the indoor environment. This becomes a weak link and energy gets lost. Passive House details buildings in such a way to avoid thermal bridging and keep a continuous thermal area.
As the first Certified Passive House Consultant in Charlotte, North Carolina, Insight Architects are excited to discuss your next Passive House project with you! Please contact Kristina Held or call (704) 344-0445 to schedule an in person or virtual meeting to discuss your project.
Passive House CPHC

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