Did you know that the concept of creating energy-efficient ‘buildings’ goes way back? In fact, one of the first fully functioning versions was not a building in the traditional sense, it was a polar ship, the Fram, used by Norwegian explorer and scientist, Fridtjof Nansen. In 1893 Nansen set sail in the Fram, which was specially designed to withstand the crushing pressures of the polar ice cap. It was also purposely insulated to withstand the cold. In his book, ‘Farthest North’ Nansen wrote:
‘The sides of the ship were lined with tarred felt, then came a space with cork padding, next a deal panelling, then a thick layer of felt, next air-tight linoleum, and last of all an inner panelling…… The Fram is a comfortable abode. Whether the thermometer stands at 22° above zero or at 22° below it, we have no fire in the stove. The ventilation is excellent, especially since we rigged up the air sail, which sends a whole winters’ cold in through the ventilator; yet in spite of this, we sit here warm and comfortable, with only a lamp burning. I am thinking of having the stove removed altogether; it is only in the way.”
Today, Passivhaus buildings are designed to a high standard, coming in all shapes and sizes to suit a variety of budgets.
Buildings are comfortable and energy-efficient – warm in winter and cool in summer – which results in a saving on energy bills and the environment. They offer great indoor comfort, a fresh and light environment with excellent air quality. Passivhaus buildings are built to high standards and receive certification through an exacting quality assurance process.