The Passive House standard was developed in Germany in 1996; it focuses solely on achieving specific energy use targets.
Certification in the program requires that:
Design loads must use less than 15 kWh/m2 (4,755 Btu/ft2 or 5.017 MJ/ft2) per year in heating or cooling energy
Total primary energy (the building’s consumption plus the losses/inefficiencies of the energy supply chain) consumption for all uses must not be more than 120 kWh/m2 (38,040 Btu/ ft2; 40.13 MJ/ft2) per year
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The building must have a very low air leakage rate of 0.6 air changes per hour at 50 Pascals of pressure difference (ACH50)
Passive House Planning Package software is used to model the home and predict its energy use, and an on-site blower door test confirms the air leakage rate.
The efficiency required to meet Passive House standards exceeds current code requirements by 75-90%, resulting in the highest possible degree of energy efficiency.
Besides energy efficiency, there are no other requirements for Passive House certification.