Passive House sets a specific target
What is the Passive House Standard

The Passive House Standard is a performance standard rather than a design standard.

This means that there are no constraints on design, materials, orientation or layout.

The Passive House Standard is simply an exhaustively researched and proven standard that sets simple performance criteria to ensure comfort, health, durability and low running costs.

In the Passive House standard, comfort is defined as:

Comfort Standard Allowable Value
Minimum indoor temperature 20° C
Maximum indoor temperature < 25° C for >=90% of the time
The Standard

The Passive House Standard sets three key performance criteria for the building:

Performance Metric Allowable Value
Space Heating Energy Demand <= 15 kWh / m2, or
<= 10 W / m2
Airtightness <= 0.6 ach n50
Total primary energy <= 120 kWh / m2
Space Heating Energy Demand

The maximum amount of heating energy that may be delivered to the building to maintain comfort.


Airtightness of the building envelope as measured by a Type A blower door test.

Total primary energy

The maximum amount of energy, measured at the generation source, the building may consume in total.

Additional Criteria

There are also several secondary criteria that must be fulfilled:

Surface Temperatures

The Certifier must be satisfied that the internal surface temperatures of the building will be sufficient to meet the health and comfort criteria.

Interstitial Condensation

The Certifier must be satisfied that the building envelope will be safe from interstitial condensation.

Fresh Air

The Certifier must be satisfied that the building has an adequate supply of fresh, outdoor air.