What is a Passive House?

The Passive House concept represents today's highest energy standard with the promise of slashing the heating energy consumption of buildings by an amazing 90%. Widespread application of the Passive House design would have a dramatic impact on energy conservation.

A Passive House is a very well-insulated, virtually air-tight building that is primarily heated by passive solar gain and by internal gains from people, electrical equipment, etc. Energy losses are minimized. Any remaining heat demand is provided by an extremely small source. Avoidance of heat gain through shading and window orientation also helps to limit any cooling load, which is similarly minimized. An energy recovery ventilator provides a constant, balanced fresh air supply. The result is an impressive system that not only saves up to 90% of space heating costs, but also provides a uniquely terrific indoor air quality.

Today, many in the building sector have applied this concept to design, and build towards a carbon-neutral future. Even governmental agencies have adopted passive house standards in their policy-making.

Performance Characteristics

  • Airtight building shell ≤ 0.6 ACH @ 50 pascal pressure, measured by blower-door-test
  • Annual heat requirement ≤ 15 kWh/m2/year  (4.75 kBtu/sf/yr)
  • Primary Energy ≤ 120 kWh/m2/year (38.1 kBtu/sf/yr)

The building science research culminated in the development of the Passive House Planning Package (PHPP) which projects detailed heat load, heat loss, and primary energy usage for individual building parameters.

More Information on what makes a building a Passive House