Building block No. 1: Energy efficiency
#EfficiencyFirst! The Passive House Institute stresses that achieving a high level of energy efficiency in new builds and retrofit projects must be a priority. Excellent thermal protection of the building envelope is decisive for this and achievable through a climate-appropriate insulation, among other things. Ventilation systems with heat recovery can further halve the heating demand of these buildings. The hot water demand can be decreased through the use of well-insulated pipes, efficient fittings and heat recovery. The Passive House Institute recommends highly efficient heat pumps for the provision of heating energy and hot water.
Building block No. 2: Efficiency & renewables
The Passive House Institute further explains that for the success of the energy transition, it is necessary to combine the energy efficiency of the building with the onsite production of renewable energy. In the case of new buildings and retrofits, a preferably large photovoltaic system should be installed on suitable surfaces. The heat pump can then be operated using this PV system. However, installing a PV system on actively heated buildings with uninsulated roofs, results in a missed opportunity for high energy savings. It also creates a barrier to implementing the energy transition. "Homeowners should therefore insulate their houses first. This is also financially worthwhile", explains Jessica Grove-Smith, co-initiator of the building blocks.
Building block No. 3: Political framework
The political framework conditions are also decisive for successful climate protection, continues Grove-Smith. As an example, the Passive House Institute also finds the German building energy act GEG as "incompatible" with the objectives of the Paris Agreement and advocates for more ambitious energy standards. This also makes sense economically. Financial incentives for highly energy efficient new builds and retrofits will increase industry motivation and uptake. "It would be counterproductive if a mediocre level of building efficiency continued to be funded. This also applies for heat generators which are not sustainable", explains Grove-Smith. The Passive House Institute is therefore in favor of ceasing funding for only moderate energy standards.
No accelerated retrofitting campaign
At the 25th International Passive House Conference in September this year, the Passive House Institute explained that for retrofits, the most economical solution with regard to total costs was to implement the ambitious EnerPHit standard. The EnerPHit standard was developed by the Passive House Institute for the retrofitting of existing buildings. If the renewal of building components is already planned, then these must be brought up to a future-proof, sustainable standard. By contrast, an accelerated retrofitting campaign with faster renewal cycles would be considerably more expensive. What is even more important is that in realistic terms, the designers and tradespeople required to implement this so-called ‘wave’ at short notice are simply not available, says Dr Jürgen Schnieders. The 30-minute presentation on the topic is available on YouTube (in German).