Passive Houses – The Facts, The Myths

By   February 21, 2016

Passive HousesMany experienced ‘old-school’ home builders can tell you all kinds of reasons that passive houses are a waste of money and time.

Yet, those who are striving to live the ‘green’ life will tell you all kinds of reasons to offset those points. So here we are going to review 10 arguments that are made daily in regards to passive houses.

Myth Number One: Expensive

Everyone and their builder believes that passive houses are too expensive. The fact is when you do the math and include the operating cost into the equation passive houses actually are more affordable than traditionally constructed homes.

Myth Number Two: Stuffy

Passive houses are 10x more airtight than traditionally built homes, but the fact is, they do not feel “stuffy”. The windows open the same in passive houses and since they are insulated better, more passive house owners leave their window open more.

Myth Number Three: Thick Walls

The outer walls are typically 12 inches thick and may vary in regions that experience colder weather. Traditional built homes the walls are about half as thick and occupants pull back ways from the windows where the cold air infiltrates.

Myth Number Four: Exotic Materials

There aren’t any specified or specific products required to build a passive house, thus making it easier to design and easier to build using whatever materials are convenient.

Myth Number Five: Complicated

Passive houses are built along the same philosophy as playing hockey: The learning curve is steep. The experience is easier and fun than building a traditional style house.

Myth Number Six: Too rigid

There are several creative approaches to building passive houses.  In fact, it is encouraged so that you can learn as you go.

Myth Number Seven: Ugly

They are diversified in designs and the proof is in the number of awards they have won. The performance standard of passive houses is simple: The beauty is in the eyes of the passive house owner.

Myth Number Eight: Too Soon

Passive houses aren’t any new idea they came about back in the 1970s with the first one being built in 1991 in Germany.  Since that time, over 40,000 structures have been built using this concept.

Myth Number Nine: ROI Is Slow

The savings that passive houses bring at the start the first year and just keep growing as the cost of energy increases.

Myth Number Ten: Net Zero

Having a net-zero of energy is an improvement when you have 90% less heating energy.