Passive houses are gaining ground in Galicia as an innovative and sustainable solution to meet today's environmental and energy challenges. In this article, we will explore the characteristics of passive houses, the advantages they offer and how they are being adapted to the Galician region. In addition, we will answer the most frequently asked questions about this type of housing in Galicia.
A passive house is a house designed to minimize energy needs and maximize energy efficiency. This is achieved through the use of advanced building materials and technologies, as well as architectural design techniques that take advantage of the natural conditions of the environment to maintain a comfortable indoor environment without relying heavily on active heating and cooling systems. Passivhaus certification, originating in Germany, is an international standard that guarantees that a house meets the energy efficiency and thermal comfort requirements of a passive house.
Passive houses in Galicia share a number of key features that make them sustainable and energy efficient:
Passive houses have a high level of thermal insulation in their walls, ceilings and floors, which reduces heat transfer between the interior and exterior and reduces the need for heating and cooling.
The windows and doors of a passivhaus are specially designed and manufactured with high quality materials to minimize heat loss and allow natural light to pass through.
The envelope of passive houses in Galicia is extremely airtight, which prevents air infiltration and reduces energy losses.
A controlled mechanical ventilation system (CMV) with heat recovery allows indoor air renewal, ensuring good air quality without significant heat losses. This system uses a heat exchanger to transfer the heat from the expelled air to the incoming air, thus maintaining a constant indoor temperature.
Passive houses in Galicia are designed to make the best use of sunlight, through proper orientation of the house and the use of windows and glazed surfaces that allow natural light to enter and passive heating during the colder months.
In addition to construction and design techniques, passivhaus houses use environmentally friendly materials and technologies, promoting sustainability in all aspects of the home.
Passive houses offer a number of benefits for both homeowners and the environment, among which the following stand out:
Thanks to their design and innovative technologies, passive houses can reduce energy consumption by up to 90% compared to traditional homes. This translates into lower energy bills and reduced environmental impact.
The excellent thermal insulation and air tightness of passive houses ensure a comfortable and stable indoor environment all year round, regardless of outdoor weather conditions.
Mechanical ventilation systems with heat recovery provide constant indoor air renewal, which improves air quality and prevents moisture, mold and condensation problems.
Passive houses promote a sustainable lifestyle by minimizing the consumption of natural resources and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Passive houses tend to have a higher resale value compared to conventional homes because of their energy efficiency, comfort and sustainability.
The initial cost of building a passive house may be slightly higher than a conventional house due to the materials and technologies used. However, passive houses offer significant savings in energy costs over their lifetime, which can offset the initial price difference.
Yes, passive houses can be adapted to any climate, including the Galician climate, which is characterized by its humidity and mild temperatures. The design of passive houses in Galicia is adjusted to local conditions, making the most of solar orientation and using appropriate materials and construction solutions to ensure optimum energy performance and thermal comfort.
Passive houses in Galicia are adapted to local conditions to make the most of the characteristics of the environment and climate. These adaptations include:
In Galicia, it is common to use local and sustainable materials such as stone, wood and slate, which integrate perfectly into the landscape and provide excellent energy efficiency and thermal insulation.
Passive houses in Galicia seek to integrate into the surrounding landscape and respect the natural environment. This can include the use of vegetation on roofs and facades, the creation of gardens and outdoor spaces that encourage biodiversity, and the adaptation of the architectural design to the terrain and views.
Although passive houses feature innovative technologies and designs, they can also incorporate elements of traditional Galician architecture, such as galleries, balconies, sloping roofs and stone walls, to merge the modern with the traditional.
Since the Galician climate is humid and rainy, passive houses in the region are designed to effectively protect against moisture and avoid condensation and mold problems. This can be achieved through the use of vapor barriers, proper drainage systems and construction details that minimize thermal bridges and water infiltration.
Mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (MCV) is particularly useful in Galicia, as it allows precise control of indoor humidity and ensures a healthy and comfortable indoor environment in all seasons.
To promote the construction of passive houses and encourage the adoption of sustainable practices in the region, Galician institutions offer various grants and financing, such as subsidies, loans and tax deductions. These programs can help homeowners finance the construction or renovation of passive houses and overcome initial economic barriers.
Some relevant initiatives include:
The Xunta de Galicia and the Instituto Galego de Vivenda e Solo (IGVS) offer energy rehabilitation programs to improve the energy efficiency of existing homes by installing insulation, efficient heating and cooling systems, and renovating windows and doors, among others.
There are also grants and loans specifically for sustainable housing and passive house construction, which can help finance new construction or renovation projects.
To increase demand for passive houses and encourage the adoption of sustainable practices in construction, Galician institutions also offer training and awareness programs aimed at construction professionals, architects, engineers and citizens interested in sustainable housing.
In short, passive houses in Galicia represent the future of sustainable housing in the region. These houses offer numerous advantages in terms of energy efficiency, comfort and sustainability, adapting to the Galician environment and promoting a more environmentally friendly lifestyle.