The typical Passivhaus is based on a simple box design. Aimed at containing the most space, as efficiently as possible. Optimising the sun is an important element in the design of a Passivhaus. For example, a plot may have beautiful views to the north, but wouldn’t be ideal for large viewing windows. Or it may have a south facing garden, but the sun is blocked by trees or hedges. Maximising south facing windows will help heat rooms during winter.
With highly energy-efficient homes there is a danger of overheating in the summer. Especially if there are large areas of unprotected glazing to the south and west. Effective design can overcome this by ensuring that these windows have appropriate shading. Including overhangs or shutters. Which is a standard feature of southern European houses. Automated blinds can also be installed. These can be set to close, if the internal temperature rises beyond a set point. To prevent overheating.
The use of natural light is also an important part of Passivhaus design, as it helps reduce energy consumption. This could be achieved through top-lit enclosed courtyards, roof lights and sun tunnels. Incorporating these elements into the design will help the house become more energy efficient.
As designers become more familiar with Passivhaus standard. They will develop their skills to be more expansive with their design. Taking advantage of the benefits of different plots.