What Is Passive House?

Better Buildings By Design

Sometimes called Passiv Haus, Passive House is an international recognised energy performance standard developed in Germany in the 1990's. The standard is heavily focused on reducing the requirement for space heating and cooling, whilst providing excellent indoor comfort levels.

Passive House is a building standard that is truly the world's most robust energy efficient, comfortable and affordable solution for delivering homes, offices, schools, industrial and public buildings.

To do this Passive House focuses on adopting a fabric first approach using high levels of insulation for the building envelope and exceptional levels of airtightness coupled with whole house mechanical ventilation.


Passive House uses the following principles to achieve excellent thermal comforts for either Residential, Commercial, Industrial or Public buildings and can reduce space heating requirements by 90% compared to standard practices:-

  • High levels of insulation

  • Minimal thermal bridging

  • Airtightness

  • Excellent indoor air quality through Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery (MVHR)

  • Optimising passive solar gains

  • Minimising overheating by detailed solar designing

  • Simple design for minimising external surfaces compared to the internal floor area

  • Using thermal mass to help balance temperature changes throught the day

What's Involved?

Firstly any building must be modelled and assessed using the Passive House Planning Package. Our designers are able to create 3d models of your proposed building in it's built environment to allow for very detailed energy modelling and solar analysis.

The 3d models help us a designers develop the most accurate energy models to enable an evaluation of the buildings performance. From hear be can advise on improvements to the buildings design and performance against the Passive Standards.

What's Are The Standards?

For new buildings there are three classes of achievement. These are Classic, Plus or Premium. 

The heating demand of a Passive House may not exceed 15 kWh/(m²yr). Tthe case of the Passive House Classic category, this value will be 60 kWh/(m²a) at the most. A building built to Passive House Plus is more efficient as it may not consume more than 45 kWh/(m²a) of renewable primary energy. It must also generate at least 60 kWh/(m²a) of energy in relation to the area covered by the building. In the case of Passive House Premium, the energy demand is limited to just 30 kWh/(m²a), with at least 120 kWh/(m²a) of energy being generated by the building.

Frequently Asked Questions