Passive building comprises a set of design principles used to attain a quantifiable and rigorous level of energy efficiency within a specific quantifiable comfort level. “Maximize your gains, minimize your losses” summarize the approach. To that end, a passive building is designed and built in accordance with these five building-science principles: 

  • It employs continuous insulation through its entire envelope without any thermal bridging.

  • The building envelope is extremely airtight, preventing infiltration of outside air and loss of conditioned air.

  • It employs high-performance windows and doors

  • It uses some form of balanced heat- and moisture-recovery ventilation and uses a minimal space conditioning system.

  • Solar gain is managed to exploit the sun's energy for heating purposes and to minimize it in cooling seasons.


Passive building principles can be applied to all building typologies--from single-family homes to apartment building to offices and skyscrapers. 

Passive design strategy carefully models and balances a comprehensive set of factors including heat emissions from appliances and occupants--to keep the building at comfortable and consistent indoor temperatures throughout the heating and cooling seasons. As a result, passive buildings offer tremendous long -term benefis in addition to energy efficiency: 

  • Super-insulation and airtight construction provides unmatched comfort and even in extreme conditions.

  • Continuous mechanical ventilation of fresh filtered air assures superb air quality.

  • A comprehensive systems approach to modeling, design and construction produces extremely resilient buildings.

  • Passive building is the best path to Net Zero and Net Positive buildings because it minimizes the load that renewables are required to provide.


Passive House design and construction technology is becoming 'best practices' in the building industry by providing owners with superior comfort and reduced energy loads while remaining competitive in cost to build.  Working with a certified design consultant means that the building's energy performance will be modeled and refined to take the best advantage of the site and minimize inefficiencies and thermal bridges.  Contact us to learn how Passive House can improve the quality of your project.

Interested in tuning in to our monthly Passive House Roundtable for interested tradespeople, building science professionals and those who are simply curious?

Send a message to Alex at abuskey[at] to be added to our list.

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