Definition of Passive Buildings

This is meant to be an informative list clarifying the tenets of "passive building design , and "passive strategies , not a complete, exhaustive, or normative definition. We acknowledge that the founders of GPBC, being all European and North American, may be limited by our perspectives, and that definitions may broaden as those from other regions bring their ideas to it. Some items are general, some apply in specific contexts.

GPBC defines passive design as an approach that:
- First reduces the energy demand of the building
- Second utilizes sustainable energy sources.
- Third employs fossil energy efficiently.

GPBC believes a passive building should maintain a healthy and comfortable indoor environment, while using minimal energy, and should be designed to be durable, with attention to moisture management.

Passive design strategies which may be used

  • Building site selection and orientation

  • Building size, shape, spacing

  • Thermal mass (as appropriate)

  • Solar protection and shading, e.g. vegetation, roof overhangs

  • Daylighting design, window placement, selection of glazing properties

  • Passive solar gains (in moderation)

  • Coupling to the earth (as appropriate)

  • Ventilation (natural or mechanical, with heat-and-moisture recovery as appropriate)

  • Night flush ventilation as appropriate (i.e. wide daily outside temperature swing)

  • Evaporative cooling as appropriate (i.e hot dry climates)

  • Air-sealing, air-tight construction

  • Continuous insulation, connection details free of thermal bridges

  • Safe handling of air for combustion

Next Meetings

  • 11.2015, Videoconference

Old Meetings

  • 29.02.2016 Meeting Active House Copenhagen (DK)

  • 19.02.2016 Meeting Minergie (CH)

  • 11.10.2015 Japan delegation at Milan

  • 11.09.2015 Meeting 8 pm, Chicago - PHIUS Office

  • 13.07.2015, Videoconference

  • 18.12.2014 Meeting Fraunhofer-PHIUS-PHIita

  • 08.12.2014, Videoconference

  • 24.11.2014 Videoconference

  • 10.11.2014 Videoconference

  • 10.09.2014 NPHC San Francisco

  • 28.07.2014 Videoconference

  • 14.07.2014 Videoconference

  • 10.06.2014 Videoconference

  • 19.05.2014 Videoconference

  • 22.02.2014, Chicago