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09.03.2019 | Original Article Open Access

Durability of building fabric components and ventilation systems in passive houses

Zeitschrift:
Energy Efficiency
Autoren:
Wolfgang Feist, Rainer Pfluger, Wolfgang Hasper
Wichtige Hinweise

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Abstract

The passive house concept specifically improves insulation of exterior building components, utilisation of passive solar gains, airtightness and heat recovery from ventilation air. Reducing also heat losses from thermal bridges, the energy balance is improved significantly resulting in net heating demands lower than 15 kWh/(m2a) which is less than one-tenth of the typical heating energy in the average of existing buildings. The design concept can be used for every new building, and many thousand examples have so far been built for different use, in several climates and based on different construction type (e.g. concrete, timber, mixed). The very first prototype is a terraced house with four dwellings built 1990/1991 in Darmstadt. This building uses typical masonry external walls, concrete floors and a timber roof and can be seen as a representative example for highly energy-efficient construction. By monitoring all relevant energy flows through the building’s envelope during a period of more than 25 years, it has been confirmed that the energy consumption is as extraordinarily low as designed and stable over the whole period. This article especially investigates how this has affected the indoor climate, the indoor air quality and the durability of all components. By thorough investigation, an assessment of the maintenance cycles is given, which are representative for this construction type. The main characteristics of the components and the ventilation system after 25 years of performance of the pilot building have been determined; these are typical for passive house quality components; therefore, the results are indicative for the concept. The passive house concept turns out to be not only energy-saving but also most notably very durable and extraordinarily low-maintenance.

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