Health and well-being
The Passivhaus concept was originally developed from a desire to provide an ideal comfortable and healthy indoor environment.
For a person to feel comfortable, the temperature and humidity levels must be within a certain range, and balanced throughout the space and day. Individual preferences play a role, of course, and are an important component of the definition of comfort.
There is no shortage of anecdotal evidence recording some of the benefits of living, working or studying in a Passivhaus. The comfortable and stable temperatures, lack of draughts, warm surfaces and maintained supply of filtered, fresh air collectively make for an environment that provides unbeatable comfort and freshness.
The following summarises direct experience from occupation of Churwell Avenue:
Sleep: significantly deeper and consistent sleep patterns resulting in vivid dreams and less disturbance. Triple-glazed windows help reduce external noise, and mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (MVHR) maintains low levels of CO2.
Air quality: the MVHR filters out air pollution from outside and delivers the right levels of CO2/ oxygen, and at the right temperature. The continuous supply and extraction of air to and from the rooms results in noticeably less dust (and spiders) as a result. Any odours, moisture and irritants are efficiently removed from kitchens and bathrooms.
Allergies and asthma are just two health problems known to be increasing due to higher levels of pollution, as more typical homes become better insulated and more air-tight. The MVHR scores again in maintaining an effective balance of fresh, filtered air.
Temperature: internal temperatures and relative humidity levels are stable throughout the year. This virtually eliminates mould or spores growing on internal damp surfaces.
Draughts: thanks to triple-glazing and effective air-tight construction, draughts are all but eliminated. There are never draughts from the MVHR as it works silently and at low velocity.