What’s a positive home?

In this post you’ll find all details of the 6 benefits of a positive home:

  • Comfort temperatures inside
  • Electricity by renewable energy
  • Sun’s heat
  • Silence
  • Water saving
  • High oxygen levels inside

May you don’t know us yet, let’s have a quick introduction: we’re ERA architects.
Actually, I’m Esther Rovira, architect and passive house designer in Barcelona and Catalonia for either passive houses, efficient houses and positive houses.
In this post ‘What’s a positive home?’, you’ll find the list of basics you need to know before you start your renovation in Barcelona.
I hope it helps you! Let’s explore the 4 basics of a positive home renovation.

1) Comfort temperatures inside

A positive home guarantee comfort temperatures between 20-25º inside with low energy consumption 80% of the year. The rest you’ll be consuming a bit more to reach this comfort, but always less than traditional housing.

2) Electricity by renewable energy

A positive home guarantees comfort with an energy of less than 20kWh/m2a. You could also get enough photovoltaic panels to make your positive home self-sufficient on sunny days (if having enough sunshine hitting your roof of course!).

This is possible thanks to the design, calculations and simulations of our Passive House specialist architects. You’ll find many architects out there. Not all architects are Passive House Designers (PHD). Neither all PHD architects are updated with the complex practice of certifying a positive house (which is the best guarantee to your green home). Ask other architects when did they certificated their last passive house.

Our last positive house was certified in November 2022 and turned out to be Passive house PLUS!. And 2 more are coming during 1st trimester of 2024. Here one of them.

3) Sun’s heat

During winter, your home will take and retain heat from the sun (we hope you don’t have too many shadows around your property!). This is possible thanks to the special windows, special glass, large insulation and airtightness design and calculations that also guarantee a home free of condensations.
During summer, your home will be protected from the sun.
Finally, thanks to the insulation, airtightness and ventilation, your home will keep the inside temperature during longer periods of time making you save money.

4) Silence  

Thanks to special windows and insulation; silence in a new build positive home is guaranteed.
May you share walls with others, we’ll analyze the possible noise levels to solve the problem to guarantee as much silence as possible.

5) Water saving 

Water will be the next resource to be scarce (if not already!).
A positive home has gadgets and devices to save water.
For new positive home builds, we also suggest these deposits and systems:

  • harvest rain water.
  • harvest grey waters from bathroom sinks and showers to reuse them for cleaning, toilet tanks, washing machine and irrigation.
  • treat sewage to reuse that water for irrigation only.

6) High oxygen levels inside

A positive home guarantees that your home’s air is renovated at least 3 times per hour. This means your home will be free of humidity, smells and Co2 overload even with the windows closed.
To give you an idea, the CO2 levels inside your current home with all windows closed and 2 people living in, are most probably over 1000ppm (parts per million). In the long term this means your property could be producing mold, damaging the lungs of your family and even avoiding your child to concentrate when studying!.
The CO2 levels of your future positive home will be similar to a forest which is around 400pppm.
Imagine breathing like a forest inside your home?

Summary

Comfortable Temperatures:

A positive home ensures comfort temperatures between 20-25ºC with low energy consumption, making it an energy-efficient and comfortable living space 80% of the year.

Renewable Energy Usage:

Achieving a positive home involves guaranteeing comfort with less than 20kWh/m2a of energy consumption. Photovoltaic panels can make the home self-sufficient on sunny days, showcasing the power of renewable energy in sustainable living.

Sun’s Heat Utilization:

The design and calculations by Passive House specialist architects enable homes to harness and retain heat from the sun during winter. Special windows, glass, insulation, and airtightness features protect the home from excessive heat during summer, contributing to energy efficiency.

Soundproof Living:

Special windows and insulation ensure that a new positive home offers a quiet and peaceful environment. Noise analysis is conducted for homes sharing walls with others to mitigate potential disturbances.

Water Conservation:

Recognizing the increasing scarcity of water, positive homes integrate gadgets and systems to save water. Strategies include rainwater harvesting and recycling greywater for various household purposes, promoting responsible water usage.

Optimal Oxygen Levels:

The unique ventilation design of positive homes guarantees the renewal of indoor air at least three times per hour. This not only eliminates humidity, smells, and CO2 overload but also ensures a healthy living environment, similar to the oxygen levels found in a forest.

Conclusion

  • Certified Excellence: Seek architects with expertise in Passive House Design (PHD) who are updated on the complexities of certifying positive houses. Certification provides the best guarantee for a positive home.
  • Proven Track Record: Search for architects that have proof of recent certification for a positive house, demonstrating a commitment to excellence. Upcoming certifications in 2024 further emphasize their dedication to staying at the forefront of sustainable architecture.
  • Holistic Approach: Positive homes combine energy efficiency, renewable energy sources, soundproofing, water conservation, and optimal indoor air quality. The integration of these elements results in a sustainable and comfortable living space.
  • Long-Term Health Benefits: Maintaining CO2 levels similar to a forest, positive homes not only contribute to environmental conservation but also safeguard the health of occupants. Improved air quality prevents issues like mold growth and ensures a conducive environment for concentration and well-being.

In conclusion, the pursuit of a positive home is a holistic journey that blends innovation with sustainability. By focusing on energy efficiency, renewable energy, comfort, and health, homeowners can create spaces that not only benefit the planet but also enhance the quality of their daily lives.

Hope this post ‘What’s a positive home?’ is helpful!
(leave a comment below if you need more info)

Best of luck on your positive home renovation adventure.
See you on the next post,

architectBarcelona

Founder of ERA architects

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