A+ Buildings and passive houses
Just like a refrigerator or an air conditioning device, buildings as well can be rated in an energy classification. The highest rating is A+, and the lowest is G. The rating of the building is based on a complex calculation, and the obtained result will be certified by a licensed expert. This process is called the building energy calculation and is prepared by our company during the tender applications. Nowadays, an average Hungarian building falls in to the “F” category. If the energy performance of the building is equal or it stays below 55%, then it is an A+ energy class building. The standard assesses the construction of a “C” building.
One of the most frequently asked question regarding this idea is: “What kind of insulation should I use that is thick enough to have an A+ house?”
The answer is quite complex; the energy rating of a building is determined by several factors. It depends not only on the physical characteristics of the building (walls, windows, insulation), but on the heating system and on how we produce domestic hot water.
In addition, some of the determinative parameters are the surface area and the volume ratio of the building (External surface/Inner volume ratio).
Using the IsoShell system, even with a 30-cm wall thickness we can achieve an A+ energy-rated building.
The fact if the building is passive house or not, is determined by the standardized Building Rating System, developed by the Passive House Institute (Passivhaus Institut) of Darmstadt. The main parameter of the passive house is that it does not require a conventional heating system; it can be heated up with only a fraction of the average thermal energy consumed nowadays. Off course, beside all of that the passive houses have to be heated as well.
The energy required for heating can be covered by renewable energy sources, for example with an air to water heat pump.
In addition, with the use of the solar energy, high-efficiency insulation and triple gazed windows, heat recovery ventilation, we can achieve in a passive house a heating energy demand as low as 15 kWh per square meter per year.
The total energy consumption (primary energy ratio) of a passive house, which includes beside the heating energy the cooling, the preparation of domestic hot water, the use of technical equipment, lighting, controlled ventilation operation, and other primary energy consumption associated with the use of the building, cannot be more than 120 kWh/m2/year. Under these parameters, a passive house’s annual energy cost is 1-2 Euro/m2.
The passive house standard goes beyond conventional house features. Today, the multi-storey residential buildings, office and administration buildings are designed according to the passive house standards.
In some cities, municipalities the construction with a passive house standard is mandatory. The European Union plans to make from 2019 the compliance with the passive house quality mandatory in all Europe.
The ICF building system is a globally recognized construction technology that was been developed in Germany, nearly sixty years ago.The main difference of the system, compared to conventional masonry, which is as well its biggest advantage, is that we take care of the superstructure and the thermal insulation in one single step during the construction, saving in this way time and energy. Find out more!