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|The principle remains the same - the details have to be adapted.
This statement can be taken as the general rule governing the design of Passive House buildings in all climates around the globe.
In Central European Climate there is a lot of practical experience on how to build Passive House buildings. But it would be a pitfall just to apply the Central European Passive House design, especially the details used for insulation, windows and ventilation and just copy these to a completely different situation because
Therefore, the specific solution for a Passive House building has to be adapted to the country and the climate under consideration.
On the other hand: The goals are the same in all climates and for all countries. Also, physics is the same all around the world. So the problem to build almost self sufficient houses (i.e. Passive Houses) is well defined. The physical equations are the same - only the boundary conditions vary. Thus the solution method can well be applied independently of the circumstances in order to find the appropriate way of Passive House design in a specific country and climate.
It is a lucky coincidence: Although the specific design of passive houses may look quite different in varying circumstances, the leading principle will be the same. This principle has been derived from Amory Lovins' idea of reducing the investment by using a more energy efficient design, going that far with efficiency, that there will be a certain breakthrough to radically simplified technology.
For the case of heating or cooling, this means to radically reduce the peak load by means of insulation, heat recovery, highly insulating windows, passive solar design and other measures. When the peak heating load reaches the value of 10 W/m², independently of the climate, the ventilation system may easily be used for heating. No other heat distribution system than just the air supplied for excellent indoor air quality is required any more.
Thus, the definition of a Passive House building basically consists of limiting the peak heating load to 10 W/m². In some climates that may be easy to achieve; in other, colder climates it may be more difficult.
And the same applies for cooling: Passive measures are to be chosen to reduce the peak cooling load: proper size and quality of windows and shading and the reduction of the internal heat loads by using highly energy efficient equipment. Again, the remaining small amount of cooling energy which might still be needed can be delivered by cooling of the fresh air supply required for good indoor air quality anyhow (see Passive Houses in South-West Europe as a exemplary solution).
Looking at the heating load is just an example. In many locations other energy services such as cooling or dehumidification are much more important. Again the method to determine a Passive House will be the same: Peak loads are limited until an appreciable simplification of the active technology needed for cooling / dehumidification can be achieved.
Some rules of thumb which are valid for all climates:
Preliminary requirements for residential Passive Houses in all climates worldwide were derived from the technical and economic considerations. These requirements concern indoor heating, sensible and latent cooling, airtightness and primary energy demand. The criteria for primary energy demand and airtightness remained the same worldwide. Read more...
[Feist/Adamson 1989] Feist, Wolfgang; Adamson, Bo: Design of low-energy houses in the federal republic of Germany; Lund University, Report BKL 1989:3(E)
[Schnieders 2009] Schnieders, Jürgen: Passive Houses in South West Europe — A quantitative investigation of some passive and active space conditioning techniques for highly energy efficient dwellings in the South West European region. 2nd ed., Passivhaus Institut, Darmstadt 2009. http://www.passivehouse.com
[Schnieders et. al. 2012] Jürgen Schnieders, Jürgen; Feist, Wolfgang; Schulz, Tanja; Krick, Benjamin; Rongen, Ludwig; Wirtz, Reiner - Passive Houses for different climate zones, Passivhaus Institut, Darmstadt Nov. 2011 order via www.passiv.de
A variety of built examples - Certified Passive Houses and EnerPHit retrofits - can be found here
Information on the climate dependent criteria for Passive House suitable transparent buildings components is available on the PHI website