The content marketing team at Houzz put together a great overview of one of the hot buzzwords in the built environment these days: Passive House. Here is an overview:
Unlike LEED, the Passive House standard does not require that you use natural or recycled materials. Certification is based on energy performance alone.
Not only do the walls, slabs and roof need to be properly insulated, but so do all of the openings. High-quality windows are one of the biggest up-front expenses in a Passive House, but they contribute to a large portion of the energy savings…
Whether or not a Passive House is valid without official certification is an ongoing discussion. Some professionals believe that certification is an added and redundant expense. Others say it adds transparency and verification to the whole process, keeping everyone accountable to goals. Some homeowners find it a necessary part of adding market value to their house. Others don’t see the point, especially if they are not intending to sell.
Above all, it is vital that you trust your project team and understand the entire situation. The word “passive” is not trademarked, as LEED is, so make sure you understand the context in which it is being used.