Today, homeowners across the U.S. seem to be focusing more on their level of energy use and conservation due to rising energy costs, decreasing natural resources and other environmental concerns.
While it’s true that daily household energy use has been on the decline in recent years due to new home building techniques and improvements, there is still room to further reduce energy consumption.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the average residential electricity consumption was 10.399 kilowatthours (kWh) a year (an average of 867 kWh a month). Out of that amount, more than half of a household’s annual energy consumption is for heating and air conditioning. Also, the average household living in a single-family residence consumes nearly three times more energy than a family living in a multifamily residence with five or more apartments.
Passivhaus is an internationally popular energy performance standard that requires as little as 10% of the energy used in today’s standard homes. That means homeowners see an energy savings of up to 90%! While very popular in the United Kingdom and other European countries, the Passivhaus standard is only now starting to garner attention in the U.S.
To understand what it means to build a “passive house”, let’s look more closely at the Passivhaus standard, its benefits, and the insulation materials needed to help incorporate this popular design standard into U.S.-based residential homes.