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Passive Houses

A passive house doesn't require active heating or cooling systems to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature. Or at least the design greatly minimizes the use of HVAC.

It is a certified building standard organized by the Passivhaus Institut in Germany. That's an independent research institute. Passive House is the only internationally recognised performance-based energy standard for construction.

Passive House requirements are fairly simple. The criteria specify limits on space heating energy demand, space cooling energy demand, renewable primary energy demand, and airtightness. To meet the criteria, builders must optimize thermal insulation, the best window technology, ventilation heat recovery, and avoid thermal bridges.

Passive House Institute US is a non-profit organization in the United States. It trains and certifies professionals, and conducts research.

Recently Plant Prefab introduced Passive House certified modular homes. The development is significant because it makes the standard easier to adopt for more homebuilders. It also reflects that the concept is becoming more mainstream.

Watch a video about a Passive house bungalow in northern California. It uses less energy than it produces. The owners find the consistent temperature comfortable and relaxing.

Get into the insulation details of a passive house in Canada. Builder Matt Risinger shows it all in an informative video.

These homes are certainly possible in very cold climates; for example this passive house in Minnesota. The architect and homeowner talk about the home and the experience of living in it. It's comfortable and quiet.

Fine Homebuilding magazine presents The Passive House Build: Designed for Success. Good information about the design and construction process. The home is located in Massachusetts.

Cost is always a consideration, so check out six estimates of passive house costs. Experienced builders estimate the initial cost premium to be 7% to 15% above a typical home.

passive house in California
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