Roof windows for passive houses – how does it work?

A passive house is a type of building that’s energy-efficient, cheap in maintenance and since it doesn’t require the use of complex heating and cooling systems, it’s not impacting the environment in the same way as regular houses do. It’s a good investment if you’re looking for future savings, and because there’s no need to spend money on expensive systems in order to control the temperature, it’s also quite affordable to build.

The great level of energy efficiency is achieved by implementing insulation of the highest quality, which allows you to maintain comfortable living conditions throughout the house in the summer, as well as in the winter. That’s why choosing the appropriate type of windows is an essential element in the creation of a passive house, as they are usually the biggest source of heat loss.

Roof windows in passive houses

Different types of windows are available depending on the climate zone we live in. For example Europe is, for the most part, located in cold to moderate climates. Although the detailed structure of windows can vary. For proper insulation, triple-glazed windows are used. To achieve the best results, it’s recommended to look for roof windows which have been certified for this type of construction.

Since passive houses are very airtight, they require the use of a ventilation system, which is why, regardless of whether we choose to install opening or non-opening skylights, they won’t be used as a venting option. However, it’s important to remember that in passive buildings it’s not only the components used that influence the overall result, it’s also the way they are implemented that counts. Installing the perfectly airtight window will be pointless if we don’t ensure proper insulation between the window frame and the roof.

Placement of the windows

Although it may seem like choosing the correct place for roof windows in passive houses and in regular ones shouldn’t be much different, this is not the case. Such constructions are carefully designed and all details are calculated to provide the best possible thermal performance. They use solar heat entering the building as one of the energy sources, which is the first reason why the placement of windows and maximising the influx of sunlight is important. Another is, of course, using natural daylight instead of artificial light, to further increase energy savings.

A passive house is an option worth considering, especially as together with the rise in popularity of passive buildings, comes the increasing availability and affordability of necessary building materials. It is worth noting, however, that even if we don’t plan on building a new house, we may choose to implement such solutions in our current one, as they will help significantly lower the expenses.