Simply walking into other people's homes? That is exactly what everyone can do during the International Passive House Open Days. Residents of Passive House buildings will open their doors to visitors during this annual open days event. They invite them to experience the high levels of comfort and energy efficiency for themselves.
Feel the Passive House! This year the International Passive House Open Days will take place from 9th to 11th November.
With a Passive House, building owners are implementing the energy transition within their own four walls. The investment costs required for the construction of a Passive House building are scarcely higher than those of a conventional building. At the same time, residents need very little energy for heating or cooling and therefore only pay a fraction of the normal heating or cooling costs. In addition, Passive House buildings can also be successfully combined with renewable energy generation.
"The recent IPCC Report from the United Nations has again demonstrated that climate protection must be consistently implemented without any further delay. As a major contributing cause of global warming, buildings must also become much more energy efficient. For over 27 years, Passive House buildings have shown that it is possible to drastically reduce the energy consumption of buildings", explains Dr. Witta Ebel of the Passive House Institute.
Constant supply of fresh air
Passive House buildings are characterised by excellent thermal insulation, triple glazed windows, and a ventilation system with heat recovery among other things. Thanks to the ventilation system, the air quality is noticeably better than in conventional buildings - allergy sufferers can breathe freely again. Other criteria for the Passive House Standard include an airtight building envelope and the avoidance of thermal bridges.
All sorts of buildings
An overview of buildings participating in the International Passive House Open Days can be found at www.passivehouse-database.org. Over the three days, building owners will be inviting people into their Passive Houses. A large proportion of the participating buildings are residential, including Passive House Plus and Premium buildings which produce renewable energy on-site. However, the owners of offices, hotels, church institutions, schools and kindergartens will also be inviting people to visit their Passive House buildings.
Building for the foreseeable future
In the European Union the revised version of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) stipulates that from 2019 all public buildings, and from 2021 all private buildings must be nearly zero-energy buildings (NZEB). The Passive House Standard already fulfills the criteria for these low energy requirements today. "During the International Passive House Open Days, visitors will be able to have their questions answered directly. This is a unique chance to obtain an authentic impression of these comfortable and extremely energy efficient buildings", explains Sabine Stillfried of the IG Passivhaus Germany.
Transformation of a house
An apartment building in Mönchengladbach, Germany, modernised by the architectural firm bau grün! can also be visited during the International Passive House Open Days. The 1930s building is one of twelve housing estate buildings in the Westend district. The garden façade with the enlarged windows and the new timber construction annexe with bay windows has been transformed beyond recognition. "During the Open Days we want to show the visitors how an old building can become appealing both in terms of energy efficiency and visuals", says the architect Daniel Finocchiarro of Mönchengladbach.
Even challenging cases like a building after a gas explosion can be renovated to Passive House or EnerPHit standard, as the example of Passivhaus Mariahilfer Straße in Vienna are showing.
Viewing is easy
Participating in the International Passive House Open Days is simple: on www.passivehouse-database.org interested persons can search for open buildings in their city or region. Most buildings can be visited without advance notice, in some cases a short notification or appointment is required. The International Passive House Open Days are organised by the IG Passivhaus Deutschland in cooperation with Passivhaus Austria and the International Passive House Association (iPHA). This year the worldwide event is taking place for the 15th time.
Passive House Hotel
During the International Passive House Open Days, visitors can also win a prize. Anyone who takes a picture of his or her visit to a Passive House and posts it on social media using the hashtag #iPHopendays will automatically take part in a prize draw. The prizes include an overnight stay in a Passive House hotel in the Alps. Further information...
Title photo: Daniela Unterholzner invites to neunerhaus Hagenmüllergasse for the International Passive House Open Days; Photo credtis: FilmSpektakel