Building owners throughout the world are increasingly turning to the Passive House Standard. This autumn the number of square metres that have been certified internationally based on the highly efficient standard reached one million.
The symbolic threshold was crossed with the certification of a detached house in Santa Cruz in California, USA. Almost 25 years after the construction of a prototype house in Darmstadt, tens of thousands of tenants and home owners continue to benefit from the low heating costs and high level of comfort provided by Passive Houses – on almost all continents and in practically every climate zone.
To date, the Passive House Institute has issued certificates for just over 10 000 units in Passive House Standard. However, the certification is voluntary, meaning that the total number is much higher and there are no solid statistics available. “In principle, anyone can build a Passive House”, says Zeno Bastian, Head of Building Certification at the Passive House Institute. What matters is compliance with the clearly defined criteria for energy consumption.
How this is achieved depends on the climate; in Central Europe the most essential measures include thermal bridge free construction, an airtight building envelope, a ventilation system with heat recovery, triple-glazed windows and excellent thermal insulation.
“The primary purpose of certification is quality assurance”, says Bastian. “With this internationally recognised seal, buildings owners are safe in the knowledge that the desired savings for heating costs and added benefits of a Passive House will actually be realised”.