The passive house standard for the best energy efficiency your home could have.
The Passive House standard (passivhaus in German) is a very strict and rigorous standard for energy efficiency in homes and other closed structures. Passive House standards lay down guidelines for creating houses that have ultra low energy requirements for their cooling and heating creating highly energy efficient structures. Passive House standard is often confused with Passive solar building design. Although both look at same ends – creating energy efficient buildings – passive solar building design is one of the techniques involved in creating a house that meets the Passive House standards. As such, Passive House can be said to be a broader building concept when it comes to green building.
The unique feature of houses created using the Passive House standard is that they save up to 90% heating costs, largely by employing passive solar techniques and excellent insulation and ventilation systems, AND it is possible to create such a house even in regions with relatively little sunlight at costs that can equal those of regular homes. In fact, passive houses are largely found in European, specifically Scandinavian countries, where sunlight is much less than what may be thought desirable to induce solar heating. Thus, it is easily possible to execute such a system in the kind of weather we have and more importantly, to make it sustainable.
Also, because of the kind of ‘air-tightness’ and insulation these houses provide, the indoor air quality of a passive house is much better than what is found in other houses (That’s one more credit on the LEED rating system in your pocket)