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Why you need to live in an architect designed Passivhaus – Part 3: Health

When you’re designing a home for your family, it’s important to think about what you need out of your space. But, it’s just as important to think about the other fundamental elements you’ll need to create a comfortable and healthy family home.

At HEM Architects, when we talk about designing sustainable homes, we’re talking about buildings which are cost effective, comfortable and healthy to live in. And we’ve found the best way we can achieve this is by adopting a fabric first approach to the building’s construction using the Passivhaus methodology.

In this post, we explore how the fabric first approach can benefit your health in the long term:

Breathe easily:

An important piece in the Passivhaus puzzle is mechanical ventilation.

Time and again, natural ventilation has been proven to provide insufficient fresh air to keep us healthy. In contrast a mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (MVHR) system ensures a consistent supply of warm fresh air no matter the temperature outside.

An MVHR system also has filters to clean the incoming air of pollen, dust and other particles. This means it’s constantly replenshing your home with fresh, filtered air. This has number of benefits:

  • The chances of your children developing asthma are dramatically reduced.
  • If you’re a hay fever sufferer, imagine how much better your symptoms would be if you had filtered, fresh air 24/7.
  • Your chance of developing other conditions relating to indoor air quality, such as lung cancer, is reduced.

Are you worried about the air quality in your home.

Learn more about the main things to consider to create a healthy home.

Peace & quiet:

Sound quality can have a big impact on our health and happiness. A quiet home will improve the quality of your sleep and make it easier to de-stress after a busy day.

When you enter one of our low energy, Passivhaus homes you’ll be amazed at how quiet it is. You immediately leave the noise of the world outside. And it will be beautifully quiet even if there’s a storm raging outside or you live close to a busy road.

Thickly insulated walls, roof and floor; triple glazed windows; strict air-tightness and MVHR all work together to give you a quiet home.

Your only problem might be sleeping elsewhere when you’re so used to the peace and quiet.

Forget about mould:

Mould and condensation in our homes is unsightly but, more importantly, it’s also very bad for our health. Prolonged exposure could cause respiratory illnesses, infections, allergies or asthma.

But a Passivhaus, where every surface must have an internal surface temperature above 17oC, creates an environment which prevents unhealthy condensation, damp and mould developing.

In fact, it’s much more likely you’ll get condensation on the outside of your triple glazed windows than inside the house!

On top of this, your MVHR system will constantly remove warm, moist air from bathrooms and kitchens whilst supplying filtered, fresh air to your other rooms. This automatically keeps the relative humidity levels of your home to a safe level [below 65% relative humidity] and means you can completely forget about the risk of mould.

Ready to undertake your retrofit transformation

Get some inspiration from our previous Retrofit projects.


If your home gets too hot in summer it can cause a number of health issues including poor quality sleep, heat stress and, in severe cases, it can also result in premature death.

But using Passivhaus standard doesn’t just keep you warm and comfortable in winter. It will also help to keep you cool in summer.

By using the Passivhaus design software we can predict how often your home will overheat [when indoor temperatures are over 25oC] in the summer. And we can design appropriate mitigation measures to bring this down to an almost 0% chance. Strategies we can use include:

  • Internal or external blinds
  • Optimising the size of your windows, doors and rooflights.
  • External solar shading
  • Well thought out ventilation
  • Deep window reveals

Passivhaus Architects in Yorkshire

Are you looking for an architectural company that can help you create a sustainable, energy efficient Passivhaus? Our team of architects and designers at HEM Architects specialise in Passivhaus in Yorkshire.

We can ensure that your home is energy efficient, comfortable and has a low environmental impact. Our team of architects in Sheffield will work with you every step of the way to create a home that not only meets your unique needs and preferences but also exceeds energy efficiency standards.

To enquire about our Passivhaus building design, please contact us today. You can reach us by phone on +44 (0) 114 4420 123 to speak with a member of our team.