In recent years Malaysia has seen an increase in energy dependency, particularly in
the residential part. Together, with commercial buildings, they
consume more than half of the country’s generated energy. The
biggest consumption is from the air conditioning facility in
households which is around 21% of all energy consumption,after that
comes electric fans that use about 2% of this amount. Taking into
account the significant amount of electricity spent on cooling houses,
it is important to reduce energy consumption in buildings via passive
means. That’s a reason passive houses are getting more popular
What is a passive
Passive houses are
usually single-family and are a trendy architectural solution to the problem
of energy consumption. They are self-sustaining homes, which means
that their energy consumption depends on natural sources. Make the
most of natural resources and respect the environment both during
construction and when built. The Sun is undoubtedly an essential
element, as it depends on the lighting and heating of the place.
In addition, appliances
should be low-energy to not spend more energy than necessary. Water
is also an important factor, as rainwater is collected and recycled
as much as possible. This is the beginning of these homes, everything
that can be saved and reused.
What is history of
passive houses in Malaysia?
One such building which
belongs in the residential and/or commercial sector is the
“shophouse”. In Malaysia, it is relatively common to find
shophouses, especially in the state of Penang. There are around 7000
units in this state alone. Many of Penang’s shophouses were built
in the 19th and 20th century.The original design of the Penang
heritage shophouses is suggested to be influenced not only by the
prevalent colonial and Chinese influence of the time, but also the
hot and humid character of Penang’s local climate. So it includes
some key design elements such as stylized columns and arches, most of
the original shophouses have large entrances, louvered doors and
sheltered hallway and walkways which can be called five foot-way.
These are all part of an integrated design which responds to the need
of solar shading and passive cooling. Other features such as
jack-roofs and air wells can also be found in some of the buildings.
What elements in a
house make it passive?
Energy saving: Own
energy must be generated, for example through solar panels. but the
home must also be properly located to save energy in both heating and
Saving water: As we
have discussed, water is an essential factor. Devices that economize
the use of water and control it must be installed.
Materials: The chosen
materials should be as natural and local as possible as their
transport should have a low impact on the environment. In addition,
avoid contaminating materials, such as plastic. These rules not only
affect building materials but also decoration, painting, furniture
windows should allow drafts of air to avoid using the air
conditioning in hot days.
Insulation and heating:
If home is not well insulated, heating expenses will increase, which
will damage the environment and your pocket. The passive house should
be warm in winter and cool in summer.
What should I
consider when choosing ecological building materials?
Weather: If you need
your passive house to be built in the shortest possible time, it is
best to use materials that can be manufactured in a local workshop.
Price: We must think
both the price of the raw material and the cost of labor. Also if we
want brick we will need at least one expert operator who will need
days to place each piece. However, if we choose concrete we will have
to rely on transport from the cement factory or if we decide the wood
can be assembled in a few hours, but it could be more expensive.
decision to use of a specific material should depend on the location
of the place itself. As we have said, the most important principle of
these homesis to take advantage of the natural available resources.
For example, in Malaysia, it is advisable to use wood as it is easily
Is an ecological
house the same as a passive house?
Passive houses follow
the same idea as ecological houses; however, passive houses have an
important technological difference. A passive house is able to expel
moisture or to absorb heat without having to open any windows. That
is to say, it is designed to consume the minimum of energy obtaining
a comfortable temperature.
Where can I find the ideal
Here at homify we
connect the best architects, landscape designers and interior designers from Malaysia and the world with people who
want to build, renovate or redesign their homes.
In addition to finding
the perfect architect for the construction of your passive house,
here at homify you can browse one of the largest selection of images
related to architecture, decoration and home design, you can save and
collect them in different ideabooks for your inspiration and further