“Passivhaus” is a building standard developed by the Passivhaus Institut in Germany, based on the work of Dr. Wolfgang Feist. With “Passivhaus” the need for heating is minimised by maximising insulation, solar gain and other factors. This “mountain hut” in Austria is a great example of Passive House requiring no heating. Body heat, cooking heat and passive solar heat are sufficient to make the space comfortable.
The word “Passivhaus” is not to be confused with “passive solar” and passive design which have been around for a while.
Passive House buildings tend to make windows smaller and eliminate skylights, because even the most economical windows are not very energy efficient compared to a well-insulated wall.1