Bioclimatic architecture: The passive house
Bioclimatic architecture aims to exploit all the natural resources of a house's environment to reduce its energy needs. The passive house fits perfectly into the bioclimatic conception of architecture and construction.
A passive house aims to limit its energy consumption to a minimum while recycling what it produces. Photovoltaic roofing, size of openings, orientation, insulation are all characteristics of the passive house.
What elements to take into account when building a passive house?
To build a bioclimatic house, it is essential to take into account
- the location of the land
- the climate of the geographical area
- the exposure of the soil
- the topography of the soil
It is the environmental and natural criteria that will determine the ergonomics of the building and the layout of the rooms. For instance, living rooms would ideally be south-facing because they would require less manufactured heating and lighting this way.
In bioclimatic architecture, it is therefore important to favour light and dry areas. A south-facing orientation will make the most of the sun's luminosity and warmth.
In this type of construction, particular attention is paid to insulation. For example, double or triple glazing is used for the windows, as well as materials that optimise inertia, i.e. that store heat during the day and release it at night. This reduces heating consumption.
Why opt for a passive and bioclimatic house?
Bioclimatic architecture reduces energy consumption and therefore its environmental impact, while also saving money.
The construction of a passive house is more expensive than a conventional house, but the savings made by opting for this type of construction will quickly pay for themselves in the long run.
In addition to
- the elimination of thermal bridges
- the optimisation of the ergonomics and layout of the rooms,
it is possible to further reduce electricity consumption in a passive house thanks to home automation and energy-saving equipment.
Heat pumps, radiators and low-energy connected lighting will further optimise the energy performance of a bioclimatic structure.
How much does it cost to build a passive house?
The price of a passive house is generally 10 to 20% higher than that of a conventional house. It is necessary to prepare a budget between £2500 and £3500 per m².
However, where a house that meets the thermic regulation (TR) 20212 standard consumes approximately £1,000 per year in energy costs, a passive house will see its running costs cut in half. In this example, the owners of the passive house save around £500. It only takes a few years to recoup the extra cost of choosing bioclimatic architecture.
However, keep in mind that a bioclimatic house is not necessarily passive.
To reduce the cost of construction, you can opt for double glazing rather than triple glazing. This can save up to £10,000 on all the openings in the house. You can also forgo Passivhaus certification, which represents an expense of £1,500 to £2,000 and is not mandatory or necessary.
To sum up, bioclimatic architecture aims to introduce sustainable development into the field and make it responsible. The passive house is one of the most notable achievements of bioclimatic architecture.
It reduces energy consumption to near self-sufficiency in heating needs through intelligent use of solar heat, ventilation control and maximum airtightness. It is also characterised by very simple architecture.
Bioclimatic architecture, therefore, aims to achieve healthy and sustainable buildings. To qualify as an ecological habitat, a structure must also use sustainable materials.