Energy efficiency is more than a buzzword in today’s housing market — it’s a new way of life. As home builders and contractors design housing communities in their local neighborhoods, they must be able to source products and materials that will contribute in a sustainable way.

Window manufacturing has been at the forefront of energy efficiency in recent years, with new technology and sourced material that keeps energy usage and costs down without sacrificing quality or durability. In particular, the rise of passive window designs has become a hot topic among industry leaders.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the core definition and overarching themes and characteristics of passive designs — and their impact on energy-efficient homes.

What is Passive Design?

Before we can explore the characteristics and how window treatments play a part, it’s important to understand exactly what passive design is. Passive design is the process of building a home that does not require mechanical cooling or heating.

This design style prioritizes sustainability and has become an increasingly popular guideline for home-builders looking to design and construct new properties.

About Passive Home Windows

There’s no question that windows are an integral part of any home, but what about passive home windows? What part do they play?

The reality is that you can’t actually find this specific style of window at a hardware store. Instead, this type of custom window is often only accessible through an experienced window manufacturer. Passive house windows are designed to a specific energy performance standard — called The Passive House Standard, an increasingly popular industry standard for energy-efficient property construction.

The standard of passive home windows is to ensure maximum comfort, quality, and sustainability. The end result for builders is to install windows that require minimal energy to achieve comfortable yearly temperatures — no longer needing conventional cooling and heating systems.

About Passive Home Windows

Characteristics to Look For

While passive windows may not have specific elements or components, there are certain qualities contractors can look for when discussing window options with their manufacturers.

Airtight: Quality windows and frames should be able to keep airflow inside the home, ensuring temperatures remain regulated and the homeowners are able to stay comfortable. When discussing this with window suppliers like Casa Bella Windows, look for windows focusing on air tightness as a core characteristic.

Glazing: When it comes to energy efficiency, passive windows will always look for the technology that best meets that goal. Today’s market favors triple-glazed windows — designed with three panes with either argon or krypton gas in between, keeping drafts and allergens out while allowing natural light to flow inside.

Built to Last

The last thing a home builder wants is to invest in materials that can’t hold up against seasonal weather changes. One of the most sought-after qualities found in passive windows is their ability to improve energy efficiency and keep costs down without the need to be constantly replaced.

Using triple-glazing and quality framing, passive house windows should last upwards of 20 years — promising a quality return on their investment.

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