Passive House is based on pioneering work by Americans and Canadians who built super insulated houses in the 1970s and 80s. In 1990, a Swedish professor and a German physicist fine tuned the previous research and developed a mathematical model for building extremely energy efficient buildings. They named this method Passiv Haus (sp) and built the first prototype in Germany. The concept caught on and this home and others were monitored extensively and the resulting information used in computer simulations to develop ideal construction parameters

Today there are tens of thousands of Passiv Haus buildings, both residential and commercial, throughout Europe. The Passiv Haus vision is that every family has a green home that is energy efficient, durable, comfortable, healthy and safe.

In 2002, a German architect hired by the University of Illinois built the first Passive House in the US and has subsequently founded Passive House Institute US as a clearinghouse for information and certification. At this time there are around a dozen Passive House homes in the US, but the interest is growing rapidly so that number will grow quickly.