A question for you: what type of building can be built as a passive house?
Passive house buildings have started to be built in the 1990s as new thinking from Passiv Haus Institute in Germany. They began with small residential buildings with a relatively simple form, yet very energy-efficient and airtight building envelope, coupled with mechanical heat recovery. And later on, larger buildings were built as passive houses, such as office buildings and schools.
Nowadays, in North America, the passive house buildings with 60 storeys (and plus) are being constructed, and they will serve as housing and mixed-use.
But what about a different type of activity in a building? Can it still be a passive house?
A more than a decade ago, I have read about the mountain lodge in Austria being renovated as a passive house, but only in summer months, it would function as a low-energy building.
And a few years ago, I have posted about a sports hall being built as a passive house, read more at Södra Climate Arena in Växjö (link here) with demanding settings and good all-year-around performance documented by follow-up.
Often people ask about activity in buildings, and how it will affect the performance of a building and mechanical ventilation system. And here comes the Passive house CIK Knivsta with ice hockey hall, located in Sweden. The arena with the floor area of 9 000 m2 is the largest wooden building with passive house standard certification. The arena will be open all year round offering various activities such as ice hockey, conferences and events.
Demands for car exhaust to directly exhausted outdoors!
Recently, I have heard about the car dealership in Canada built as a passive house with rather demanding ventilation issues as the car exhaust also contains harmful pollutants that must be directly exhausted outdoors. Read more about this building here (link here).
The owner stated: “I think building smarter and showing that these retail facilities can be structured in a way that they’re still functional for a retail presence and also able to accommodate a nicer work environment for the teams that are inside of them and not to mention the customers as well. We hope the long-term benefits will help inspire others to build similar type structures, possibly.”
Read more about interesting case studies!