Passive House is the world‘s leading standard in energy efficient construction.
The Passive House Standard stands for quality, comfort and energy efficiency. Passive Houses require very little energy to achieve a comfortable temperature year round, making conventional heating and air conditioning systems obsolete. While delivering superior levels of comfort, the Passive House Standard also protects the building structure.
For a building to be considered a Passive House, it must meet the following criteria (for detailed criteria, please see www.passivehouse.com):
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 a slight additional allowance for dehumidification.
2. The Primary Energy Demand, the total energy to be used for all domestic applications (heating, hot water and domestic electricity). must not exceed 120 kWh per square meter of treated floor area per year.
3. In terms of airtightness, a maximum of 0.6 air changes per hour at 50 Pascals pressure (ACH50), as verified with an onsite with a 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. For a complete overview of general quality requirements (soft criteria) see Passipedia).
Passive House buildings are planned, optimised and verified with the Passive House Planning Package (PHPP). The use of high quality building components (see Certified Passive House Component Database) is key, but simply using Passive House suitable components does not make a building a Passive House. Careful planning of the interactions between these components is of critical importance to meeting the Passive House Standard. The Passive House Planning Package (PHPP) can help designers determine whether certain building plans, if carefully followed, will produce a structure that will adhere to the Passive House Standard certification criteria.
The definitive criteria for the certification of Passive House components and Passive Houses are set by the Passive House Institute under the direction of Dr. Wolfgang Feist.
- Passive House and EnerPHit retrofit building criteria
- Passive House Component certification criteria
- breakdown of "soft" criteria for Passive House buildings
The Passive House Institute issues a checklist intended to make it easier for your building to achieve the Passive House Standard and potentially “Certified Passive House” status by outlining the most important steps in the process. It draws particular attention to the quality control that accompanies the construction of a Passive House. A work in progress, this list is not necessarily complete. The current version can be viewed here.
Advantages of certification
While a Passive House building does not need to be certified to be considered a Passive House, certification provides an important and visible form of quality assurance.