Encyclopedia of Sustainability Science and Technology

Living Edition
| Editors: Robert A. Meyers

Passive House (Passivhaus)

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4939-2493-6_351-3


Airtight construction

A method of construction for building envelopes that targets less than 0.6 ACH or 0.5 cfm50/ft2 envelope – infiltration rates when tested for air leakage at 50 Pa pressure.

Balanced mechanical ventilation with heat recovery

Highly energy-efficient mechanical equipment for airtight homes to provide constant amounts of fresh air (20 cfm/person [30 m3/h]) to the inhabitants and to exhaust the same amount of air to remove moisture, stale air, and indoor pollutants. The system must also recover the energy from exhaust air at the highest possible level, which helps maintain thermal comfort in the building.

Passive (house) building concept

A building achieving close to thermal stasis by employing a set of building science principles to optimize heat loss and gain through the building shell. Primarily, this means limiting transmission losses by using climate-specific insulation levels of its components and appropriate window specifications to maintain thermal...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access



  1. 1.
    Shurcliff W (1988) Superinsulated houses and air-to-air heat exchangers. Brickhouse Publishing Company, AndoverGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
  3. 3.
  4. 4.
  5. 5.
    Jacobson R (2013) Passive House certification in Scandinavia, http://www.phius.org/NAPHC2013/jacobson.pdf
  6. 6.
    Stecher D., Klingenberg K (2008) Design and performance of the Smith House, a Passive House. ASHRAE Transaction Papers, NY-08-027Google Scholar
  7. 7.
  8. 8.
    Wright G, Klingenberg K (2015) Climate-specific passive building standards. U.S Department of Energy, Building America, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, COGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Frappé-Sénéclauze T, Heerema D, Tam Wu K (2016) Accelerating market transformation for high-performance building enclosures. Pembina Institute, Calgary, ABGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    http://www.phius.org, PHIUS+ 2015 Passive Building Standard North America: certification guidebook, Version 1.1 (2017). http://www.phius.org/PHIUSPlus2015docs/PHIUS+ Certification Guidebook v1.1.pdf
  11. 11.
  12. 12.
  13. 13.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Passive House Institute USChicagoUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Vivian Loftness
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Building Performance and DiagnosticsCarnegie Mellon UniversityPittsburghUSA