WHAT IS IT?
Passive House is a voluntary building standard to create energy efficient, thermally comfortable, healthy interior living environments. Begun in the 1990's by the Passive House Institute in Germany, Passive Houses consume up to 90% less energy than code compliant buildings. Passive Houses are exceptionally comfortable with a quiet, draft-free, thermally stable interior environment. They are healthy, with high-quality indoor air that is refreshed multiple times a day and nearly soundproof from neighboring homes and buildings.
Minimal increases in upfront construction costs can be offset in a reasonable amount of time (depending on building type and use patterns) by reduced operating costs thanks to the holistical balancing of the high performance building enclosure with hyper-efficient energy, lighting, and water use systems. Passive Houses are designed with a comprehensive systems approach to modeling, design and construction. They are resilient from power outages and rising energy costs. Most will not fall below 60 degrees without any heat.
Certified green buildings are a nationally rising trend pointing towards green homes selling for more than their conventional counterparts. When Passive Houses are constructed without the use of toxic materials such as spray foam, we are moving our buildings towards a climate-change-adapted present and future.
WHY DO BUILDINGS MATTER?
In the United States 40% of energy use and 73% of electrical use is from buildings. The Industrial and Transportation sectors are actively changing to meet the energy demands of the near future. The Housing sector provides the most potential of energy and carbon reductions in the world.
By 2050 all of the world’s buildings will have to be carbon neutral to hit the 2015 COP21 accord to keep the planet from warming “well below 2 degrees Celsius.” 60% of the world’s buildings will be rebuilt in the next 10 years. Foam-free, Passive Houses, both new and retrofits, provide a clear path towards a carbon neutral future.