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Passive House

Passive House certification is available to single family homes, multifamily buildings, schools, office buildings, and other commercial buildings. Passive buildings are critical for achieving a low carbon future. They represent the limit of what current technology can cost-effectively achieve in terms of energy efficiency.  Passive buildings certified by the Passive House Institute of the United States (Phius) must be designed and constructed to achieve these goals:


Thermal Control: Passive buildings have super-insulated envelopes that incorporate continuous insulation and minimize thermal bridging.

Air Control: Passive buildings have airtight envelopes and utilize balanced heat recovery ventilation.

Radiation Control: Passive buildings utilize high performance glazing and consider the effects of solar radiation and shading from nearby buildings and trees.

Moisture Control: Passive buildings prevent moisture problems through proper assembly design and humidity control within the building.

Image by Seyi Ariyo

Multifamily and commercial passive buildings must be modeled in WUFI energy modeling software to demonstrate compliance with 5 thresholds:

  1. Heating Demand - maximum allowable heating need per year

  2. Cooling Demand - maximum allowable cooling need per year

  3. Heating Load - maximum allowable heat loss on the coldest day of the year

  4. Cooling Load - maximum allowable heat gain on the hottest day of the year

  5. Source Energy Consumption - maximum allowable energy consumption per year

How can Airtight Energy Consulting support your project?

Our Passive House services include:

  • Feasibility studies - including a basic WUFI model and discussion about what it would take to achieve Passive House certification for your building

  • WUFI energy modeling - including building 3D models, calculating Phius targets, and identifying recommended improvements to building design to comply with Phius thresholds

  • Passive House design consulting - including multiple rounds of plan review, high performance construction advice based on our extensive experience, project management, and coordination with Phius

  • Passive House verification - including on-site verification, whole building blower door tests, infrared imaging, HERS ratings, and certification to ENERGY STAR, Indoor AirPLUS, and Zero Energy Ready Home prerequisite programs

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