Passive House is a comprehensive approach to designing and building affordable, sustainable and healthy homes which use up to 90% less energy than comparable homes built to current building codes. Passive House is different from most of the “standards” in that the goal is not a particular insulation level or a particular HERS rating, but a defined level of very low energy use (4.75 kBTU/SF in the living area) without or prior to the use of site generated energy. Thus, the Passive House concept is today’s highest energy standard for home construction. These standards are more energy efficient than the programs and ideas listed above, and the extensive proliferation of the Passive Houses in Europe shows that they can be built economically. At least two European nations are using Passiv Haus standards as the minimum allowed under their building code.
The Passive House is designed using a computer modeling program called the Passive House Planning Program. When a house is completed to specifications and passes the required tests and inspections, it can be labeled a Certified Passive House.