Passive House is a rigorous green building standard focused on exclusively on energy consumption, energy efficiency and air quality. They are super insulated, almost airtight, and therefore need very little energy input to heat (up to a 90% reduction of the energy used by a typical code compliant house). Â The heat from equipment, people and lighting retained within the insulated building envelope essentially replaces the furnace/boiler as the primary heat source. Fresh air is conditioned through a Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV) with the exhausted air.Â Although solar gain does factor into the equation, Passive Houses are not passive solar houses.
Urban Olympic, to my knowledge, will be the first multifamily Passive House in the United States.