The term passive house (Passivhaus in German) refers to the rigorous, voluntary, Passivhaus standard for energy efficiency in buildings. It results in ultra-low energy buildings that require little energy for space heating or cooling. The basic design principles are:
- Thermal bridge free design
- Ventilation with heat recovery
The house is basically heated by the internal gains from the inhabitants, their electrical equipment and passive solar gains. The remaining heat-load is met by a small heater but may not exceed 15 kWh/m2 and year. (this is 4.75 kBtu/sf/yr)
- Estimates on the number of passive houses around the world range from 15,000 to 20,000. The vast majority have been built in German-speaking countries or Scandinavia. If we are able to obtain certification, our project would be the first one here in NYC (for a new building).
Or click on this link to see a NY Times article with a fine graphic which shows how a Passive House works.