Here’s a great article by Gayle Fleming, an environmentalist and green real estate advisor at EcoGayle’s Blog. She’s EcoBroker certified and a NAR Green designated real estate agent in the Washington DC metro area. The following text is quoted from her blog.
“Yes, really. You think the oil, coal, natural gas and HVAC companies want you to know about this? NOT. The Passive House movement is in its infancy in the US but it’s already a young adult in Europe. It’s called “passive” because heating or cooling these homes relies completely on natural resources. In other words there are no active systems involved in the 90% reduction in energy use! How is this possible I’m sure you want to know. Why didn’t I know about this might be another question.
A passive house uses orientation, super insulation, advanced window technology, air tightness, and shading to achieve standards that are set by the Passiv Haus Institute. These standards eliminate the need for a conventional HVAC system or for solar panels and geothermal systems. Although some homes have an option for solar systems. An energy recovery ventilation system provides a constant, balanced fresh air supply, a uniquely terrific indoor air quality, AND reduces energy use and carbon emissions, according to the Passive House Institute US (PHIUS).
… The passive house movement was started when conversations between two German professors at the Institute of Housing and the Environment led to the first passive houses being built in Germany in 1990. To date it is estimated that 15 to 20 thousand passive buildings have been built worldwide, mostly in Germany and Scandinavian countries. The US numbers are far, far fewer.”
You can read the rest of the article at EcoGayle’s Blog. She also has lots of other related articles you’ll probably want to read.