AMPM Passivhaus

AMPM Passivhaus

Partnering with the Passivhaus Institute, Passivhaus Ireland, Fraser Millar and other Passivhaus developers, AMPMNI is leading the way to market Passivhaus properties in Northern Ireland.

PassivHaus is a premium quality building standard recognised throughout the world for energy efficient building design that also promotes indoor comfort, health and acoustic insulation.

As well as being one of the world’s leading energy efficiency standards, Passivhaus construction methods promote sustainable, environmentally friendly and affordable homes and buildings.

Established in the 1990’s in Germany, “passive house” was pioneered by employing basic physics concepts to building low-energy houses. The design focuses on nurturing all the “passive” energy in a building – like sunshine andheat from household appliances – and retaining that heat within a super insulated building envelope. Common features include triple-glazed windows, high-quality insulation and a near-perfect level of airtightness. This reduces the need for heating and cooling systems such as air conditioning and central heating and can even make such systems completely unnecessary. Verified results demonstrate that such quality standards can reduce a building’s energy needs by 90 percent compared to a typical existing dwellings and they can be 75% less than in many new-build homes.

The benefits of Passivhaus are not limited to these huge reductions in energy bills. Passivhaus homes offer superior indoor comfort due to consistent comfortable temperatures throughout the house along with and high quality filtered air. Further, due to the high quality insulation used in construction, these homes also provide reduced ambient noise levels.

What are the requirements for Passivhaus?

High quality construction, exacting component specification and intelligent passive design throughout the house must combine to meet several criteria to certified as Passivhaus. There are a number of categories for certification: Classic, EnerPhit (for refurbished buildings) and Low Energy Building (LEB), as well as two categories allowing for renewable energy supplies (Plus and Premium).

Space heating

The energy demand for space heating must not exceed agreed limits per metre of floor area per year

Classic: 15 kWh/m2a

EnerPHit: 25 kWh/m2a

LEB: 30 kWh/m2a

Typical new build: 85-100 kWh/m2a

Primary energy

Total energy needed for all domestic applications (heating, hot water and domestic electricity) must not exceed agreed limits.

Classic: 60 kWh/m2a

EnerPHit: 60 kWh/m2a

LEB: 75 kWh/m2a

Typical new build: 200-300 kWh/m2a


Passivhaus buildings are very airtight and should have no more than agreed limits of air changes per hour (measured at 50 pascals of pressure). Rather, air movement should be controlled by a ventilation system.

Classic: 0.6 ACH

EnerPHit: 1.0 ACH

LEB: 1.0 ACH

Typical new build: 5.0-8.0 ACH

Thermal comfort

Living areas should be comfortable (above 20°C) all year round, with no more than 10 percent of the hours in a given year exceeding 25°C.

The five principles of Passivhaus design have a recurring theme

  • Insulation: super high-quality insulation employed throughout
  • Insulation: eliminate thermal bridges that might allow heat to escape.
  • Insulation: superior quality windows
  • Insulation: an airtight construction, eliminating draughts
  • Mechanical ventilation: circulating clean warm air with highly efficient heatrecovery


Very high levels of insulation are a key element of Passivhaus construction. This ensures that heat losses escaping from a home are extremely low. With such a small requirement for heating, a Passivhaus home can be kept warm with low requirement heating systems, or ideally in some climates with no heating system at all. These living conditions are therefore conducive to low output heating products such as heat pumps and solar PV panels. In a Passivhaus, a heat pump or solar PV panels are able to generate a substantial or all of a home’s heating and hot water requirement, resulting in vastly reduced utility bills.

Passivhaus Retrofit

Clearly, it is easier to apply Passivhaus principles to a new-build property, where key Passivhaus features and high specification products can be can be designed in from the drawing board. Even orientation of the property – essentially how the sunlight and other elements will affect the building – can have a significant effect.

However, effective retrofits are entirely possible, and there is a Passivhaus certification standard designed specifically for retrofit quality. A Passivhaus retrofit will likely not reach the same levels of insulation and low energy as a newly built Passivhaus property, but it there are usually a number of Passivhaus upgrades that will be economically attractive for an existing property, saving energy costs in the future.