News Analysis

Passive House Standards to Add Net-Zero-Energy Options

Energy demand still foremost

Details will be explained by Wolfgang Feist, director of PHI, at the International Passive House Conference in April 2014, but according to a press release, the new categories will serve as the basis for net-zero or near-net-zero buildings. A new, single-family home that produces as much energy as it consumes, for example, will be able to earn a new “Passive House Plus” label, and a “Passive House Premium” label will be awarded to projects with an energy surplus.

The emphasis will still be on reducing energy demand to ensure that wasteful buildings can’t comply by simply adding large solar arrays, according to the press release, and calculations that determine a building’s renewable energy potential will be based on lot area instead of floor area so as not to penalize multistory urban buildings. Because these buildings have a “far smaller roof area available per square meter of living space,” it is more difficult for them to achieve an energy surplus, explains Dr. Benjamin Krick, senior scientist at PHI.

Published April 2, 2014