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basics:passive_house_checklist

Passive House checklist

for planning and implementation of Passive Houses

(⇒: Quality assurance is necessary)

1. Development plan

  • Good public transport connections
  • South-oriented main facade (± 30°) and large south-facing window areas
  • Avoid shading in order to utilise passive solar energy
  • Shade-free vegetation
  • Are compact building shapes possible? Buildings in rows are advantageous.


2. Preliminary planning

  • Compact building structure; avail of the possibilities for building extensions
  • Glazing areas facing south are optimal, windows facing east/west/north should be kept small.
  • Avoid shading (no or minimal shading in winter from parapets, porches, balconies, roof overhangs, partitions etc.)
  • Simple structure of envelope surface (preferably without dormers or recesses etc.)
  • Layout: keep installation zones together (e.g. bathroom over or next to kitchen), taking into account necessary ventilation ducts
  • Separation of any existing basement level: airtight and free of thermal bridges
  • ⇒ Use PHPP (Passive House Planning Package) to set up the energy balance of the building. The SketchUp plugin designPH allows a quick 3-D data entry.
  • Application for Passive House certification to the Passive House Institute or another certifier accredited by the PHI.
  • Check out and apply for Passive Houses subsidies by the Development Loan Corporation (KfW), for example


3. Planning approval

  • Include planning of the insulation thicknesses for the building envelope
  • Include planning of building services
  • Layout: short pipes (for hot water, cold water, waste water) and short ventilation ducts
  • Cold air ducts outside of the envelope; warm ducts within the envelope


4. Implementation planning of the building structure


5. Implementation planning of the ventilation system

  • Ductwork: cold air ducts should not be located inside the building envelope; if this is unavoidable then they should be very short and very well-insulated. Warm air ducts should not be located on the outside of the envelope, if this is unavoidable, then these should be very short and extremely well-insulated.
  • Short, smooth-walled ducts; flow velocities 3 m/s; include measurement and adjustment devices; acoustic protection; fire protection
  • Air outlets: avoid short-circuiting of air flows; throw distance of nozzle; possibility of adjustment
  • Extract air outlets: should not be positioned above heaters (if present)
  • Transferred air openings should be dimensioned to Δp ≤ 1 Pa
  • Ventilation: central unit, for example, selected from the range of certified units in the component database. Please note: Certified components are not mandatory for certified buildings, but they make it easy to ensure the performance mets the requirements.
  • Position heat exchanger near the thermal envelope; ideal installation locations are in the envelope or in the basement.
  • Post-heating coils inside the warm envelope
  • Possibly additional insulation of central unit and post-heating coils
  • Heat recovery rate ≥ 75%; airtight (recirculated air < 3%); electrical efficiency (< 0,4 Wh/m3)
  • Adjustability; acoustic insulation; highly insulated device casing
  • Adjustment of the ventilation system: User-controlled “low”, “normal”, “high”; Possibly additional switch in kitchens, bathrooms and toilets for use when required.
  • Extractor hoods: high rate of extraction with low volumetric flow; grease filter
  • Subsoil heat exchanger optionally
  • Airtightness; cold pipe sections should be kept at a distance from the house; bypass (summer)


6. Implementation planning of remaining building services

  • Plumbing and hot water: short pipes, well-insulated, within the envelope
  • Plumbing, cold water: short pipes, normally insulated against surface condensation
  • Insulate fittings for hot water and heating
  • Water-saving taps; hot water connections at washing machines and dishwashers
  • Waste water: short pipes (only one downpipe), roof vents (preferable) or insulated vent pipe
  • Plumbing and electrical installations: avoid penetrations in the airtight building envelope as far as possible; where this is unavoidable, ensure airtightness!
  • Use energy-saving household appliances (it is useful to make an inventory for the PHPP)
  • Carry out quality control for the entire building services


7. Execution, construction management for building structure

  • Absence of thermal bridges: Schedule for quality assurance on site
  • ⇒ Insulation work: Uninterrupted insulation layers; avoid hollow spaces
  • ⇒ Airtightness: Check connection details as long as they remain accessible
  • ⇒ Airtightness: Carry out the airtightness test during the construction period!
  • When? As soon as the airtight envelope has been formed but is still accessible, i.e. before interior finishing (coordination with other disciplines!)
  • How? n50 test using e.g. BlowerDoor; including leak detection


8. Execution, construction management for ventilation system

  • ⇒ Penetrations: airtight
  • Ducts: install these in a clean state, seal carefully
  • Central unit: accessibility of the filter for replacement; acoustic insulation
  • Check insulation of ducts (where necessary)
  • ⇒ Calibration of the air flows during normal operation
  • Measurement of supply air and extract air flows; adjustment of balance; adjustment of supply air and extract air distribution; measurement of the electrical power consumption.


9. Execution, construction management for remaining building services

  • ⇒ Check: airtight penetrations
  • ⇒ Check: thermal insulation of pipes


10. Certificate

See also

Planning a Passive House

Building a Passive House

Built examples

basics/passive_house_checklist.txt · Last modified: 2014/09/18 18:19 (external edit)