Passive House standard well suited to Mediterranean climate

The first Passive House buildings have received certification in Greece and Turkey, showing it is possible to overcome the specific challenges related to energy efficient construction in regions with warm climates such as the Mediterranean.

A good level of thermal insulation, Passive House windows, an airtight building envelope, a suitable ventilation system and a thermal bridge-free design — these are some of the characteristics of the international Passive House standard.

According to the Passive House Institute, the special challenges of building Passive House projects in countries with a warm climate require a strategy against overheating in summer. These challenges were successfully overcome in a terraced house complex in Volos, Greece and a human resources centre in the Turkish city of Gaziantep.

The first Passive House building in Turkey uses light-coloured walls and green roofs to protect against too much sign. A ground heat exchanger heats or cools the supply air of the ventilation system depending on the time of year. The building’s energy demand is mostly covered by a photovoltaic system installed in the garden. The building has a total area of just under 310 square metres. The first Passive House project in Greece consists of three terraced houses covering a total area of 477 square metres.

The solutions used for these two projects will presented at the 20th International Passive House Conference on 22 and 23 April in Darmstadt. One of the focal points of these year’s conference is energy efficient construction in warm climate zones.

The Passive House Institute has spent many years researching the basic principles for constructing Passive Houses in the Mediterranean climate and has put its findings into practice in numerous buildings. A series of other projects will also be presented at the upcoming conference, including the world’s first public library to achieve the Passive House standard, which is located in Villamedina de Iregua in Spain.


Image credit: Stefan Pallantzas

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