Quite frankly, it is not to much effort. Building technology has developed to a great extent since the passivhaus standard came into existence, and it is quite a bit easier to build a passive house now than it was 10 years ago. Most of the building material that you require are easily available. Passive houses are as comfortable to live in as any other homes and in fact are healthier and safer because of the building design.
Passive houses are more expensive to build than conventional homes because of the materials required between five and ten percent depending on size. However, over the long run, they have proven to be much cheaper. When you look at how much a conventional home costs in terms of heating, cooling, ventilating, electricity, and air conditioning – a passive house turns out to be a cheaper bargain.
Passive homes are not that uncommon either. Although it is difficult to find a completely passive house in the US – they’re common in the UK and across Europe. Closer to home, we have green homes that make use of some of the principles of passivhaus and add their own two bits to create an energy efficient green home. In Washington DC, we have architect and green builder Travis Price’s four story green home, just about 10 minutes from the White House. His house was featured on the Discovery channel’s World’s Greenest Homes – which, by the way, is a great show to see how much and how easily people can build green homes for themselves.