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Energy efficiency is just as important in warm climates as in cold. In Italy, the architect Maria Grazia Novo has designed and built her own passive house together with ROCKWOOL Italia and a number of other experts.

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ROCKWOOL Italia S.p.A.
Via Londonio, 2
IT-20154 Milan

Phone: +39 02 346 131


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What is a passive house?
The limit for energy consumption in a passive house is 15 kWh/m2 per year. A passive house is a construction form where the energy consumption is minimised as much as possible via 'passive initiatives.'i.e. methods that do not involve mechanical parts using electricity such as pumps etc.

Minimum heating costs
240-300 mm of ROCKWOOL insulation; triple-glazed windows; an efficient ventilation system with 85-90% heat recovery; plus systematic construction methods preventing leaks and thermal bridges all help to keep the house warm with minimum heating costs during winter.

"Our neighbours are a bit envious," says Mrs. Novo. "A house of similar size spent € 3 500 on gas this winter. From December to March we spent 95% less, only € 175 for heating and hot water," she says enthusiastically.

What makes this house special is that it not only keeps out the cold during winter, it also keeps the heat at arm's length when summer temperatures are sweltering.

No additional costs
"This high-quality passive house didn't cost more than a traditional high-profile (but poorly insulated) house. We had a fixed budget of € 300 000. A traditional heating system with boiler and radiators (including piping and installation) would have cost around € 30 000. Instead the entire heating pump system (pump, piping, silencers etc) in this passive house only cost € 20 000, so the € 10 000 saved covered the extra costs of extra insulation and more energy-efficient windows," concludes Mrs Novo.