What is Passive Design?

Passive design takes advantage of clever design and the natural environment to make the most of the heat available to your home. Passive design incorporates many features such as glazing and orientation and can greatly reduce or even eliminate the need for a heating system.

Solar Insolation

Solar insolation is the use of natural sunlight to heat the home, it can be surprisingly effective and good window design could create a net benefit of around 4 – 8kW of energy (The equivalent of 2 to 3 hours of cemtral heating).

Orientation

The way the building is oriented can greatly influence the heating effect of the sun and the cooling effect of breezes. Orientating a building East – West reduces the need for heating by around 10% on average. Additionally, orientation can ensure maximum gains for solar PV and solar thermal systems.

Sealing your building
Air leaking is responsible for roughly 15 – 25% of heat loss in the home during winter. Properly sealing your home is one of the simplest actions you can take to save heat and has a dramatic effect on your bills. The colder the weather the more you benefit as air flow between inside and out is reduced.

Passive design can be free if you are planning new build and simply requires changes to your existing plans, however modifications can be expensive in existing buildings. To find out more get in touch.

Written by TreeThinker

Passionate about the Earth and those who inhabit it. An engineer (BEng (Hons), MSEE) from Oxfordshire, UK, specialising in designing for a sustainable future. A member of the Society of Environmental Engineers and a keen environmental advocate who volunteers for several grassroots sustainability groups. I work full time as a project manager for a renewable energy company based in Oxford and also run ‘TreeThinker’ (www.treethinker.org); a business using permaculture techniques to grow produce for sale locally as well as providing education on organic and permaculture techniques. I deliver workshops and advice on building renewable energy technology for the home, as well as workshops for schools discussing 'Energy as a resource' amongst other topics. I am qualified in ‘Information, advice and guidance’ (level 4) and experienced at teaching practical skills. for growing food. I'm also a keen cyclist and have a love of wordplay - writing a blog on etymology (www.etymologyotd.com).

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