But what is a Passive House?

I’m asked often “what is a Passive House?” Below is our simple explanation. But in these times of pandemic, with COVID-19 devastating so many lives and damaging national economies, now does not seem to be the time to talk about the benefits of Passive House building standards when we have immediate concerns about survival.


Except that Passive House design offers more than a better ecological footprint – it also delivers superior quality of health and hygiene for hospitals, government offices, commercial buildings and our homes. The mechanical systems in Passive House buildings are far superior and provide fresh air circulation that is HEPA filtered.

As we deal with COVID-19 we are all getting just a taste of disruption that looms because of the climate crisis. What this crisis teaches us is the need for healthy, hygienic, resilient buildings. And Passive House standards deliver that in spades.

Here’s how we answer “what is a Passive House” on our website. Knowing what I know today, I would probably highly emphasize the health and resiliency of our buildings.


From Passive House Canada website.

Passive House (Passivhaus) is considered to be the most rigorous, voluntary, energy-based standard in the design and construction industry today.

Climate change is the challenge of our generation.  Growing evidence is driving international consensus for action to limit global warming below 2°C.  Buildings consume up to 40 percent of global energy use and contribute up to 30 percent of annual global greenhouse gas emissions – they are a key piece of the puzzle towards a low-carbon future.

Passive House (Passivhaus) buildings consume up to 90 percent less heating and cooling energy than conventional buildings.  Applicable to almost any building type or design, the Passive House high-performance building standard is the only internationally recognized, proven, science-based energy standard in construction. Certification ensures that designers and consultants are expertly qualified to design buildings to meet the standard.

The benefits of employing Passive House standards include fine-tuned control over indoor air quality and temperature with simple to use and durable systems, making them extremely quiet and comfortable throughout the changing seasons. The reductions in operating costs quickly make up any additional costs associated with construction, and the reduced carbon emissions provide priceless peace of mind.

Passive House (Passivhaus) is at the foundation of how we build better. It is how we feel better.

For technical criteria for the Passive House, EnerPHit and PHI Low Energy Building Standard click here.

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