The Passive House: Green Without Gizmos
“Use less energy” is the mantra of a stringent German building standard that’s catching on.
Synopsis: The Passive House standard, developed in Germany in 1996, has three simple requirements that can result in a house that uses precious little energy. The requirements, which focus on air infiltration, Btu consumption, and energy usage, surpass building-code and Energy Star requirements. Houses built to the standard have become popular in Europe and are starting to catch on in the United States. Because Passive Houses are tightly air-sealed, mechanical ventilation is necessary. Passive Houses aren’t necessarily net-zero houses; creating energy isn’t part of the guidelines. However, many Passive Houses are close to net-zero because they use so little energy.
Passive House is a performance-based building standard that can result in a house that consumes as little as 10% of the total heating and cooling energy used by a house built to the 2006 building code. If you’re an architect or builder, imagine the reaction you’ll get from clients…