What is a “Passive House” and what are the benefits of this building philosophy?

Passive homes are well-insulated and virtually draft-free. As a result, minimal heating and cooling is required, and a household’s energy consumption can be reduced by up to 60-75% [1][3], even compared to other new homes built today. This has clear benefits for the owner, with lower bills and a comfortable environment. Building costs will be slightly higher by following the “passive” home building philosophy, but the impacts may just add in the region of 10% to the overall cost [1].

Going the extra mile and getting certification from one of the many National Building councils, may not have a direct short-term benefit, but it can increase the value of your home and make the house more desirable on the market­, should you choose to sell it! A study performed by UC Berkeley and UCLA looking at 1.6 million real estate transactions, found a premium of 9% on the sale price of certified energy-efficient homes[2].  Although some technologies needed to achieve “passive” status in your home may seem somewhat expensive to install, many techniques can be implemented into a house build without affecting the overall project cost.  These “passive” techniques can create immediate benefit to the homeowner, including lower energy bills and increased air quality and comfort.