Paroc Passive House Concept

The Paroc Passive House concept is part of the Paroc Energywise™ solutions. The concept was created in cooperation with VTT in the development project ”Paroc Passive House for the Nordic and Baltic housing market. As a result, a concept was introduced with one single house solution, suitable as a passive house in the whole country. The Paroc Passive House concept is certified by VTT and based on this Paroc can grant houses built in line with the concept the Paroc Passive House Certificate.

 

A passive house minimises the energy need of buildings and produces a good climate inside. The heat loss of a passive house is so small that a normal heat distribution system is unnecessary.The initial investment in a passive house may be larger than for a normal house, but the operating and life cycle expenses are remarkably lower than for a normal house.

The level of thermal insulation in structures is better than in normal, low-energy houses. The structures have been designed and built without cold bridges, which reduces heat losses. The building’s outer shell is air-tight and the indoor climate is draught-free and evenly warm. The high annual utilization rate of heat recovery in ventilation guarantees only minor heat losses in ventilation. The remaining small energy need for heating is covered using simple building system solutions.

Energywise House economy dimension
Source: Calculation based on the
PAROC® Tikkurila pilot passive house.

Definition of a passive house

The definition of a passive house is based on its energy need. The building’s total energy need is estimated in primary energy and it has limit values. The problem of primary energy is the lack of clear estimation tools. For example, the German PassivHaus Institut proposes a primary energy conversion factor of 2.7 for all electric energy bought from the electric grid. However, this does not encourage the acquisition of electric energy based on renewable energy sources. The energy conversion factors are always agreed on a national basis.

Passive houses are defined on the basis of their energy need. Thermal insulation of the envelope, the air-tightness of structures and the annual efficiency rate of heat recovery of ventilation are the means required to achieve the requirements for the heating energy need referred to in the definition.

Passive houses technology that is not dependent on the utilisation of solar energy. The main features of a passive house are good thermal insulation, the air-tightness of the envelope, low-energy windows and doors and heat recovery from exhaust air. Even though the orientation of buildings towards the south produces energy benefits, experience with passive houses in central Europe proves that the concept is functional on building sites facing north. The principle makes it possible to utilise the landscape well in design.

Paroc Concept solutions for passive houses

Paroc Oy AB's development project "Paroc Passive House for Nordic and Baltic Housing Market", developed a concept solution and model house for cold climates. The development work utilised the requirements for passive houses in cold climates developed in the "Promotion of European Passive Houses project" (European Passive Houses Organisation) of the European IEE (Intelligent Energy Europe) programme.

The principle of the concept solution is to transfer the investment costs of buildings from the building systems to the improved thermal insulation in the buildings’ outer shells. Ventilation replaces the traditional heat distribution method based on floor hearing and radiators when the heating energy need in a building is low enough. Because the building has mechanical ventilation equipped with heat intakes, the ventilation system can also act as the building’s heat distribution solution. The change in the building system solution will have an effect on the building’s investment and life cycle costs.

The limits of the energy need for heating are suggestive. The objective is to develop one house solution that is suitable as a passive house throughout the entire country. The passive house definitions applied in different parts of Europe are based on the preliminary energy need requirements presented in the Promotion of European Passive Houses PEP and Passive-on studies of the Intelligent Energy Europe research programme.

 

Southern Europe

Central, Eastern and Western Europe

Nordic countries north of latitude 60°

Need for heating energy 15 kWh/m2 15 kWh/m2 20-30 kWh/m2 *
Need for cooling energy 15 kWh/m2 15 kWh/m2 20-30 kWh/m2 *
Need for primary energy 120 kWh/m2 120 kWh/m2 130-140 kWh/m2
The building’s air leakage coefficient n50 < 0.6 1/h in all climates. * Depending on the location of the building.

Benefits with Paroc Passive house

Energywise houses have many environmental, economic and social benefits. They are also beneficial for their inhabitants in many ways. Compared to the other Energywise building variants, passive house is the optimal solution in terms of life cycle costs. Since the energy demand of a passive house is extremely low, it is also the most beneficial solution for the environment.

Read more about the benefits of Passive Houses in this section:

Sustainability Reduced Co2-emissions Noise protection

Sustainability

According to the EU Commission it will cost 50 - 400 % more to produce an extra kilowatt of electricity than to save it.  

Reduced CO2 emissions

An average household is responsible for 6,000 kg of CO2 emissions a year. Living in a passive house the same household emits only 2,100kg of CO2 a year.

Noise protection

Thick and well-insulated structures also provide effective sound insulation resulting in quiet rooms also in a noisy environment (traffic, industry, etc.). 

Family Regulations

Moderate life cycle costs

Only moderate additional investment costs.

Reduced maintenance costs

Energywise construction pays itself off from the very first day. An energywise building gathers space heating savings of at least 75% a year.

Energy performance certificates

When selling real estate, order an energy performance certificate to demonstrate the value of the property. These are safe investments.

Increasing value

Passivehouse Vinninga, manufactured by VärsåsVillan

Nature

Stable value

Energywise building may achieve a re-sale price up to 30% higher in comparison with standard buildings.

Freedom in design

No expensive demands or limits on the design and architecture. Individual architecture is standard.  

Fewer technical appliances

There is no need for a separate heating system. Covering the required heating demand with a cost-efficient ventilation heat recovery system.

Creation of value and jobs     

Domestic creation of value and jobs

75% of the increased costs will go to local builders. The remaining 25% goes to the purchase of materials, predominantly of local origin, which creates jobs - it even "pays off".

Independence of imports

Most of the world's oil reserves are in a few countries. This makes the safe and cheap supply of energy sensitive to even small production or political disturbances.

No cold feet  Better quality of indoor air 

Thermal comfort also in summer

In an energywise building there are no drafts or cold feet. It is carefully insulated, the joints are sealed and the cold bridges are minimised.

Better quality of indoor air

Fresh air is delivered continuously, minimising indoor air pollution.

Comfort of handling

Fewer technical appliances: a simple ventilation heating system covers the required heating demand.

 

Download our brochures about Energywise building

Useful external links

European Insulation Manufacturers Association: Eurima

Search for Passive Houses: European Passive Houses

VTT information regarding Passive Houses, in Finnish: VTT - Passive House

German Passive House Institute: Passivhaus Institut

The first Swedish passive house built in the Stockholm-area: Passivhouse Granbäck

Measure your ecological footprint: Ecological footprint

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