If you plan to build a house and wonder whether the additional costs of making it energy-efficient are worth it in the long term, this passive house savings calculator might be just right for you. It will help you choose between a regular building, an energy-efficient house and a passive house project. Read on to learn how to calculate the prospective savings, what is the difference between passive and energy-efficient houses, and how to ensure maximum sustainability of your building.
Energy-efficient house vs passive house
You probably heard a lot of various terms like green buildings, sustainable buildings or passive houses. The main differences between them are:
- An energy-efficient house is a building that uses less energy than specified in the standards. For example, in Germany such a building has the energy use of maximally 50 kWh/m^2 per annum.
- A passive house is a building with an extremely low energy use, not exceeding 15 kWh/m^2 per annum. A conventional heating system is not needed in such buildings.
- A zero energy house has a net balance of energy equal to zero. It doesn't mean that it doesn't require energy at all, but the energy such a building takes from the power grid is equal to the energy supplied to it.
- An energy plus house generates surplus of energy during a year.
How to calculate passive house savings
- Start with the parameters of your house. Determine the total area of your house and the costs of construction (per square meter) of a regular building.
- Check with your local gas supplier for the costs of heating. Type the price of gas per cubic meter into the calculator.
- Determine the additional costs required to make your house energy-efficient or passive. By default, these values are set to 9% and 15% respectively, but you can change them.
- Let our passive house savings calculator do the rest and find how long will it take for the investment to be returned.
- You can also use the advanced mode calculator to customize the values such as:
- how much energy is supplied from one cubic meter of gas,
- what is the annual energy demand of a regular house and
- what is the annual energy demand of an energy-efficient or a passive house.
Passive house characteristics
Some sample features of a green building are listed below.
- Passive houses tend to have a compact structure - it means that the ratio of external partitions area to the volume of the house is as small as possible. Such a structure minimizes the losses of heat through the partitions.
- Transparent partitions (windows) are used mostly on the southern side, where the solar heat gains and daylighting are highest. No windows are placed on the northern elevation.