Passive House definition

Popular version
The term passive house refers to a specific construction standard for residential buildings with good comfort conditions during winter and summer, without traditional heating systems and without active cooling. Typically this includes very good insulation levels, very good airtightness of the building, whilst a good indoor air quality is guaranteed by a mechanical ventilation system with highly efficient heat recovery.

More scientific version
The term passive house refers to a specific construction standard for residential buildings with good comfort conditions during winter and summer, without traditional heating systems and without active cooling. Typically this includes very good insulation levels, very good airtightness of the building, whilst a good indoor air quality is guaranteed by a mechanical ventilation system with highly efficient heat recovery. Thereby the design heat load is limited to the load that can be transported by the minimum required ventilation air. However space heating does not have to be carried through the ventilation system. For 40o - 60o Northern latitudes, under conditions specified in the PHPP calculation model:

A passive house has a high level of insulation with minimal thermal bridges, low infiltration and utililizes passive solar gains and heat recovery to accomplish these characteristics. Consequently renewable energy sources can be used to meet the resulting energy demand.

Note 1: For 60 degrees and higher latitudes, it might be necessary to adjust the figures in order to be able to achieve an ambitious yet realistic solution.

Note 2: Countries who wish to make their national adjustment of above general PEP approach are free to make proposals, which must be evaluated in a PEP group meeting.

Note 3: For existing buildings a new term must be invented to label a renovation based on passive house components, resulting in an energy demand for heating of around 25 kWh/m²

In this working paper an overview is given of Passive House solutions. An inventory has been made of Passive House solutions applied in each country. Based on this, the most common basic solutions have been identified and described in further detail, including the extent to which solutions are applied in common and best practice and expected barriers for the implementation in each country.