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Intended for a variety of program uses including residential, multi-residential, offices, hotels and schools, these standards drastically reduce operational energy use and associated operational cost. A comfortable interior climate can be maintained without active heating or cooling beyond conditioning of fresh air required for indoor air quality.

Superinsulation, air tight envelope, triple glazing, solar shading, mechanical heat recovery ventilation.

A superinsulated, air tight envelope lowers the heating load to allow for all heating to be supplied via fresh air used for ventilation. A high efficiency mechanical ventilation system is used in order to tightly control the quantity of fresh air supplied, limiting it to what is needed for ventilation, thereby reducing the need for humidity control. No air is recirculated. Heat exchangers in the ventilation system transfer heat from the warm exhaust air to the cool supply air. Waste heat from equipment, lighting, and people heats the space, along with passive solar where permitted by site conditions.

The up-front cost premium can be up to 14%, although in areas with more experience in, and demand for, passive house construction the cost premium can be significantly less. For example, passive house buildings in Germany can be constructed with no cost premium. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passive_house). Cost premiums are larger in very cold climates. (Source: http://erg.ucd.ie/pep/pdf/Henk_Kaan.pdf) Increased envelope costs can be offset by lower mechanical system costs.

Up to 80% operational energy savings as compared to conventional new buildings. (Source: http://www.passivhaustagung.de/Passive_House_E/passivehouse.html)

A project must meet the following performance criteria to meet passive house standards: less than 0.6 air changes per hour at 50 Pascal pressure, annual heat requirement of less than 15 kWh /m2/year, total energy consumption of heating, hot water and electricity less than 120 kWh/m2/year. Additional requirements vary by climate. A small amount of supplementary heating may be required in cold climates. Small heat pumps that provide both hot water and supplementary heat are often used.

1.4.3 U-Value and R-Value; 1.4.4 Exterior Solar Shading; 1.6.3 Ground and Water Source; 1.7.8 Passive Solar Heating; 1.5.2 Elec./Mech. Demand