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A BRIEF HISTORY OF PASSIVE HOUSE (PASSIVHAUS)

The Passive House energy standard – otherwise known as Passivhaus (the German spelling) – was born out of a conversation between Bo Adamson of Lund University, Sweeden, and Wolfgang Feist of the  Institute for Housing and the Environment, Darmstadt, Germany. Their concept was developed through research projects with grants from the central German state of Hessen.

In 1990, this eventuated in the construction of four Passivhaus terrace houses in Darmstadt, Germany, which were designed by the architects Bott, Ridder and Westermeyer. This followed with the Passivhaus-Institut being established in 1996. And, by 2010 it was estimated that 25,000+ Passivhaus building had been erected, mainly in Germany and Austria.

The Passivhaus terraces proved the concept worked with 90% less energy being used for space heating than a standard new build at the time. Thus, in 1996, the Economical Passive Houses Working Group was created. And, they developed the planning package and initiated the production of innovative components, like high-performance windows and high-efficiency ventilation systems. Between 1993 and 1997 additional Passive Houses were constructed in Stuttgart, Naumburg, Hesse, and Cologne, and now Passivhaus projects have bene built worldwide.

I am a Certified Passive House Designer. If you’d like to build a high performance home, please contact me for an obligation free consultation.

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