The “Passive House:” Finally a Reality

In years past, the idea of the “passive house” was only a dream. In concept form, the passive house was one that minimized energy losses and operated at maximum energy efficiency. The result would be a home with little to no monthly energy expenses and a fraction of the environmental impact of most homes. Amazingly, the passive house is no longer just a dream; in fact, it’s become a reality. Several companies are able to build passive homes for everyday consumers, creating a huge shift in what it means to have an energy-efficient home.

There are several elements of a passive home that can be incorporated to achieve this ultra energy-efficient status. The following are just a few key elements of today’s passive homes:

  • Avoidance of heat gain or loss by using specially built windows with triple-pane, double low-e glazing. These windows are also strategically placed to ensure that natural lighting is utilized.
  • Energy recovery ventilator placement provides a constant supply of fresh air without using much energy at all. In most cases, this system provides superior indoor air quality compared to that of most standard homes.
  • Efficient heating systems use passive solar gain along with internal gains from people and electrical equipment to minimize energy use. In fact, the system saves up to 90% of space heating costs.
  • Insulation efforts are increased to significantly reduce heat loss and ensure that the home’s heating system is ultra-efficient.
  • Installation of Energy Star appliances and products guarantees that the home’s energy use is dramatically reduced. In these cases, only Energy Star products which far exceed (not just meet) energy-efficient standards are utilized.

Though there are many important and technologically advanced elements to a passive home, this type of residence isn’t out of reach for many Americans. In fact, the cost of building a passive home is only about 10% more than the cost of building a standard home. When you factor in the long-term savings of having little to no monthly energy expenses, there are actually savings in store for those who choose to build a passive house.

To find out more about passive houses, check out Phoenix Home Performance today at www.zerohomeenergy.com.

Views: 353

Tags: efficient, energy, heating, home, passive, star

Comment

You need to be a member of Home Energy Pros to add comments!

Join Home Energy Pros

Comment by Jeff Wendland on May 4, 2012 at 11:21am

Hi Paul,

We are certified through PHIUS and follow the Passive House standards. We show our certifications our certifications page.

Comment by Cody Farmer on April 20, 2012 at 5:58am

Great summary Jeff. I've found Passive House to be a great solution to the on going debate of knowing how green it is. This is a game of energy reduction and PHPP has become a fantastic baseline. Creating a successful Passive House is truly dependent, at the moment on the new information and training coming from PHIUS, PHI, and several others. We need real green materials. GUTEX insulation for 1 easy example. The beauty of the standard is that it's open forum, no 1 type of ingredient or way to obtain your Rx of building materials. It's dangerous in the same fashion however, and I'll be posting a sign at the Passivista, which will read please do not assume that using the same materials, R-vals, and construction methods on display at this site that you will not create a building that will heat poorly in the winter or over heat in the summer. Consult a Passive House Designer or Consultant or other professional with extensive building science background. Again we need quality materials in the field that are really green.  We've been in the field a lot lately, but here are some pictures of the Passivista Passive House

Comment by Paul Bowman on April 19, 2012 at 4:29pm

Your site uses the name Passive House, but it doesn't say anything about a specific standard or certifying organization. Is there an organization, e.g. PHIUS, involved? If so, why don't you provide that clarifying info on your site? If not, why are you using the name?

Home Energy Pros

Home Energy Pros was founded by the developers of Home Energy Saver Pro (sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy,) and brought to you in partnership with Home Energy magazine.  Home Energy Pros is sponsored by the Better Buildings Residential Network.

Latest Activity

Rick Karg replied to Carly@AirCycler's discussion The (Small) Cost of Ventilation Without Recovery
"As a member of the ASHRAE 62.2 committee (and president of Residential Energy Dynamics, the author…"
17 hours ago
Bradford E. White replied to Elizabeth Guinn's discussion ERV in need of backflow preventer.
"I would use an in-line backdraft damper such as Artis Industries or the ones made by Fantech and…"
yesterday
Kim Tanner posted a video

Wireless Air Leakage Testing

This webinar will discuss the use of WiFi technology to conduct and document blower door and duct leakage tests for compliance with local energy codes. The s...
yesterday
Profile IconPerry Grossman, Daniel Pate and Ottawa Furnace Filters joined Home Energy Pros
yesterday
Kirsten Richnavsky added a discussion to the group Building Performance Institute (BPI)
Thumbnail

Breaking the link between unhealthy homes and unhealthy kids

Listen in on IAQ Radio to a discussion on reducing the household triggers that cause asthmaattacks…See More
yesterday
Kirsten Richnavsky posted a discussion

Breaking the link between unhealthy homes and unhealthy kids

Listen in on IAQ Radio to a discussion on reducing the household triggers that cause asthmaattacks…See More
yesterday
Kim Tanner posted events
yesterday
Ottawa Furnace Filters posted a blog post

Some Useful Information about Furnace Air Filters

There is not much we can do about the air pollution outside of a house in Ottawa, Canada, but we…See More
yesterday

© 2015   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service