Introduction to Passive Environmental Design

31 August 2021


In our blog entitled ‘Passive Environmental Design‘, we discuss in more detail the varying passive environmental measures and their impact on our building design. It is a complex subject, the following will hopefully (!) enhance your understanding.

Introduction to Passive Environmental Desig


What do we mean by Passive Environmental Design?

Passive environmental design maximises the use of natural sources – for heating, cooling and ventilation, to create comfortable living and working conditions inside buildings. Harnessing environmental conditions such as solar radiation, cool night air and air pressure difference to manage building environments. Passive measures do not involve mechanical or electrical systems.

What is Active Environmental Design?

In contrast active environmental design utilises building services systems to create comfortable conditions – such as boilers and chillers, mechanical ventilation, electric lighting and so on.

What do mean by Hybrid Systems?

Hybrid systems use active systems to assist passive measures, for example – ground and air source heat pumps and solar thermal systems.

What can Prime Meridian do for you?

Broadly, and where it is possible to do so, as designers our aim is to maximise the potential of passive measures, before introducing, if needed, hybrid or active systems. Reducing capital cost and the energy consumption. Contact us today for more information.

Does a passive design produce buildings that are considered to be sustainable?

Passive design should create buildings that consume less energy, this does not mean that are sustainable. Sustainable buildings, we believe, are those that are designed and operated to reduce the overall impact of the build on occupants’ health and the natural environment. And, this is achieved by:

  • The efficient use of energy, water and other resources;
  • Protecting occupant health and
  • Reducing waste, pollution and environmental degradation.