What is Passive House?

Passive House is a building standard that is truly energy efficient, comfortable and affordable at the same time.

Passive House is not a brand name, but a tried and true construction concept that can be applied anywhere.

  • Passive Houses allow for heating and cooling energy savings of up to 90% compared with typical building stock and over 75% compared to average new builds. 

  • Passive Houses make efficient use of the sun, internal heat sources and heat recovery, rendering conventional heating systems unnecessary throughout even the coldest of winters. During warmer months, Passive Houses make use of passive cooling techniques such as strategic shading to keep comfortably cool.

  • Passive Houses provide a high level of comfort. Special windows and a building envelope consisting of a highly insulated roof and floor slab as well as highly insulated exterior walls keep the desired warmth in the house – or undesirable heat out.

  • A ventilation system supplies constant fresh air, making for superior air quality without unpleasant draughts. A highly efficient heat recovery unit allows for the heat contained in the exhaust air to be re-used.

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 Passive House Requirements​

For a building to be considered a Passive House, it must meet certain criteria. All the building information is entered into special software (PHPP) with the calculations confirming if the design complies. Some of the main points are listed below:

  • 1. The Space Heating Energy Demand is not to exceed 15 kWh per square meter of net living space (treated floor area) per year or 10 W per square meter peak demand.

  • In climates where active cooling is needed, the Space Cooling Energy Demand requirement roughly matches the heat demand requirements above, with an additional allowance for dehumidification.

  • 2. The Renewable Primary Energy Demand (PER, according to PHI method), the total energy to be used for all domestic applications (heating, hot water and domestic electricity) must not exceed 60 kWh per square meter of treated floor area per year for Passive House Classic.

  • 3. In terms of Airtightness, a maximum of 0.6 air changes per hour at 50 Pascals pressure (ACH50), as verified with an onsite pressure test (in both pressurized and depressurized states).

  • 4. Thermal comfort must be met for all living areas during winter as well as in summer, with not more than 10 % of the hours in a given year over 25 °C.

More information can be found on the following links:​