Differences between Passive, Efficient, Ecological and Bioclimatic House
There is some confusion between terms and it is something that many companies take advantage of, nowadays efficiency is in fashion but not all efficient houses are ecological or healthy. Let’s see the difference between terms.
An efficient house or passive house is a house that reduces its energy demand as much as possible so that to get comfort indoors, we don’t need to turn on heating or air conditioning.
This is achieved with passive architecture strategies , that is, we do not have to “activate” anything to be comfortable, but the architecture itself helps us. In winter, with openings to the south that capture the heat of the sun, good insulation and sealing. In summer, with sunscreens, pergolas and cross vents that cool the environment naturally.
Passive architecture is also called bioclimatic architecture , a term that refers to houses that take advantage of the local climate to generate comfort indoors.
Now, if we also have an ecological conscience and we carry out all this with natural materials, free of toxins, little transformed and of local origin whose transport has generated few emissions, then we can say that we also got an ecological house .
In this last concept you have to be careful, since a house built with ecological materials may not be healthy. For example, if we apply varnish or chemical protections to a wooden structure or if the house is poorly designed and generates thermal bridges, humidity and mold that are so harmful to health. This is where the latest concept is that of a healthy home , which is one that achieves a healthy indoor environment at the right temperature and humidity, with constant air renewal and free of toxins or pollutants.
Finally, it should be noted that the term passive house – one that uses passive architecture strategies such as openings to the south, pergolas or cross ventilation – should not be confused with the term “ Passivhaus house ” which is a German certification for passive houses that meet certain standards.