passive house homes vs. net zero homes

Passive House Homes vs. Net Zero Homes

At Frontiers, we are continuously soaking up industry innovation and translating that knowledge to our clients. Making informed decisions in our changing world is critical to future-proofing our homes. Numerous improved building approaches are being adopted, and two we often talk about are Net Zero and Passive House.

A ‘Net Zero’ home and a ‘Passive House’ home are both energy-efficient building approaches, but they achieve their goals through different means and focus on different aspects of sustainability.

Net Zero Homes

  1. A Net Zero home is designed to produce as much energy as it consumes.
  2. A ‘Net Zero Ready’ home is by far the most common variant and essentially means the home has a rough-in for the renewable energy source to be added later.
  3. These homes include improved levels of insulation, and energy-conscious HVAC systems and appliances.
  4. A Net Zero home uses approximately 30-40% less heating and cooling energy, compared to a conventional home.

Passive House Homes:

  1. Passive house homes, also known as Passivhaus in Europe, are designed to minimize overall energy use and maximize occupant comfort.
  2. Passive house homes typically consume significantly less energy for heating and cooling compared to conventional homes, often 80-90% less.
  3. These homes achieve high levels of performance through a focus on:
    1. Robust levels of insulation
    2. Extreme airtightness
    3. Thermal bridge-free design
    4. Passive House certified windows
    5. Continuous fresh air with heat recovery
  4. Passive house standards are based on rigorous building physics principles and focus on minimizing heat loss and maximizing heat gain from natural sources such as sunlight and occupants.
  5. Passive House standards are internationally recognized and require a rigorous third-party certification process to ensure compliance.

Both Net Zero homes and Passive House homes aim to lower energy consumption and environmental impact. Net Zero homes achieve this by producing as much energy as they consume, often through renewable energy systems. ‘Net Zero Ready’ homes offer the production home industry a great place to begin the journey towards building a more efficient community. Passive House homes are no doubt of a higher calibre and are most viable as an application in custom home construction and multi-unit residential. Passive House first focuses on reducing energy demand through design strategies (without necessarily relying on renewable energy sources like solar), and prioritizes exceptional occupant comfort. At Frontiers Design Build, our passion is to continuously build better – There are smart and economical ways to get this done, and it all comes from being informed. Of course, our preference is to build the ‘best of the best’, with a Passive House approach, however, there are deserving applications for many of these building standards! A rising tide lifts all boats.

Contact us today to get started on your next High Performance project.