Do we have to accept a particular style of architecture in order to enjoy the benefits of a comfortable, low energy home?
In reality, the best examples of low energy design can be the hardest to spot. Subtly incorporated low energy features can be almost indistinguishable.
A performance based energy efficiency approach, such as the PassivHaus standard, is a great way to achieve these results. This standard requires that certain fixed performance requirements are met; how you actually achieve these is up to you; and this allows for a great deal of flexibility in your design.
One analogy is efficiency and safety standards in cars: Regulators don’t specify exactly what technology car manufactures must use to achieve targets, they just test the results for compliance.
So you can end up with a simple PassivHaus house like this
The bottom line is that energy efficiency is not exotic or niche and does not have to impact on the appearance of a building, it’s just something to consider as part of the design process of any project.
Well, what if your site has a great view to the south?
No problem, heat loss from the south facing windows just need to be balanced out by improving the performance of other parts of the project.
Or how about when challenging conditions bring about a complicated building form? Again, any additional heat loss just need to be balanced out by improving the performance elsewhere.
What if you prefer a traditional bungalow or cottage? There’s no restrictions on what materials you use, just some additional consideration to meet the performance requirements.
Contact us at Energy architecture NZ Ltd for more information.