What Are the Differences Between Net Zero and Passivhaus?
The need to conserve energy in homes and buildings have created new standards of efficiency with two of the more popular being net zero and passive house Passivhaus). Here’s how each standard attains energy efficiency and how they differ.
What is Passivhaus?
Passivhaus is a standard where the building or home uses minimal energy. Originating in Europe, scientists wanted a method they could strive towards that would reduce a home’s carbon emissions and improve its energy efficiency. From the result of their research and tests came this certification.
Passivhaus deals more with the design and function of a home. Simply, the intention is to create a home that promotes exceptional insulation through tight envelopes. In most conventional homes, it isn’t unusual for heat loss to occur through the door and windows. Because of this, your home consumes more energy to balance out its environment-maintain the same temperature.
This isn’t the case with Passive Houses. They are the pinnacle of energy efficiency because they have features such as solar panels that make them self-sustaining. Not only can they draw on this renewable energy source, to earn certification they must use a minimal energy output in all climates.
One of the best illustrations of Passivhaus comes from Rob Freeman, the Vice President for Poplar. He notes that PassivHaus operates the same way as a thermos bottle works.
What is Net Zero?
Net Zero is a bit different because to earn this certification a home most not use more energy in a given year than it consumes. How do houses achieve this? Through renewable energy sources such as solar panels.
Another difference is net zero homes can participate in net metering. This is where any excess renewable energy goes back to the grid supplied by the energy provider.
The most important distinction between the two is PassivHaus homes don’t have to be connected to the grid. Freeman notes that even in harsh winter conditions, some homes can use a small heater as a supplementary source and even the heat from the home’s occupants’ bodies can help maintain a comfortable temperature.
How Do I Make My Home Passivhaus?
All components of your home have to work together to achieve maximum efficiency. To this end, one area you’ll want to focus on is your home’s windows since this is one of the biggest culprits of heat loss and heat gain.
Our Global86 window earned Passivhaus certification. These windows feature a six-chambered outframe and five-chamber sash for enhanced thermal performance.
In addition to exceptional efficiency, these windows come with a 10-point locking system to offer three times the security of regular windows. And they’re twice as likely at keeping out sounds from your neighborhood such as cars, music, and more.
Choosing the right windows is an important first step towards total energy efficiency. If you’re ready to save money on energy bills and enjoy a more comfortable home, contact Seemray to learn more about our windows or to receive your free, no-obligation quote.