In 1988 teachers Bo Adamson, from Lund University in Sweden, and Wolfgang Feist, from the Institute for Housing and the Environment of Germany, came up with this type of structure coined the term passivhaus (“Passive House” in German).
The High-Performance Passive House concept has expanded to many countries and climate zones, and there are now more than 60,000 Passive House projects around the world.
There are 2,000 buildings certified as Passive House in Canada. The first in Toronto was certified in 2019.
High-Performance Passive Houses must adhere to strict building criteria, consuming up to 90% less heating and cooling energy when compared to conventional buildings.
Despite considerably lower operating costs, industry leaders agree that the cost of building a passive house is only ten percent higher than building a house that simply meets local code requirements.
you deserve a high-performance home
Quiet | Comfort | Durable | Mindful | Healthy
The ‘Passive house’ building standard sets a clear and simple goal to provide the highest level of occupant comfort using the least amount of energy. This high-performance approach recognizes the house as a system and surpasses outdated home-building conventions in both design and construction. With more than 37 million square feet of certified buildings, its adoption continues to grow exponentially in Canada and worldwide.
Climate change and the steady rise of energy costs are driving the demand for more resilient and sustainable homes in Canada. The rate of these changes has outpaced the natural evolution of building design and construction, prompting designers, engineers, and builders worldwide to catch up quickly. Several voluntary standards have been created over the past few decades to address this performance gap through specific and incremental improvements, with various degrees of success.
The design of Passive House is based on five fundamental principles:
A well-insulated building envelope keeps warmth in during the cold months and heat out during warmer months. Robust exterior insulation keeps the wood and steel in your walls warm all year round, unlike traditional cavity insulation.
Avoiding thermal bridges – which are weak points in the building envelope, contributes to pleasant, even interior temperatures while eliminating moisture damage and improving energy efficiency.
Strategically positioned, highly insulated (Triple-glazed) windows do their part to make optimal use of the sun’s energy. Windows are often the weakest link in the envelope, so using great windows makes a significant difference.
Passive Houses are designed to avoid leakages in the building envelope, thus boosting energy efficiency while preventing draughts and moisture damage. Airtightness relies heavily on the calibre of craftsmanship involved in the build; ultimately, exceptional airtightness directly translates into exceptional energy efficiency.
Passive House ventilation systems provide plentiful fresh, pollen and dust-free air with maximal energy efficiency through heat recovery. Continuous fresh air is a key element to overall homeowner health.
The design of a Passive House relies on an ‘Integrated Design Process (IDP) from a collaborative team (including the homeowner). The most important decisions are made during the conceptual design of the building and are then followed by:
- Detailed design and energy modelling
- Careful pre-construction planning
- Precise construction, exemplary workmanship & quality control
- Third-party quality assurance testing & commissioning
Why build a Passive House? If you’re planning to build the house of your dreams, you deserve a home that is not only built beautifully; you deserve:
- Consistent, year-round comfort, whether it’s 20 below or hot and humid
- Quiet stillness to escape from the world outside, rest and recharge
- Healthy indoor air quality, free of pollutants, allergens dust and mould
- Generational resilience and durability that can be passed on to your children
- Sustainable investment for your family and the planet
Passive House buildings are higher quality buildings. As such, the investment costs are often slightly higher due to the more intensive planning, superior components and exceptional craftsmanship involved. As the expression goes, you get what you pay for. With that said, reduced energy use (up to 90% for heating and cooling and 60-80% overall) translates into lower monthly bills and protection from rising energy costs, making occupancy more affordable. Ultimately you can rest assured knowing you are investing in your family’s health and well-being, saving money on rising energy costs, and contributing to a more sustainable future.
Uncompromising Design and Construction Based on Frontiers Five Principles.
Built to Meet or Exceed Stringent Passive House Standards.
Whether it’s a blizzard outside your window or the middle of a hot summer day, every room in your home should provide you with a consistent, comfortable temperature. High-performance homes are built to be airtight, wrapped in a warm blanket of insulation and premium-quality windows and doors. Say so long to the drafty office, stifling bedroom, and cold floors.
Your home is built to last. Durability is not an upgrade, it’s a standard inherent to your high-performance home that will last for generations.. Every home starts with thoughtful planning and carefully considering the materials and their sources before using them in your home. The entire build is quality controlled, meticulously documented through third-party verification to meet the highest industry standards.
A sustainable approach
There is no better investment than a home that provides lasting comfort, a healthy indoor environment, and protection from rising energy prices. High-performance homes are designed and built to be more efficient, sustainable, and durable, saving you a significant amount of money over time and providing you with peace of mind knowing that your home will be part of a thoughtful movement toward a better future.
Nothing is more important than the quality of the air in your home. Pollutants, allergens, and moisture can infiltrate your living space through gaps and cracks in your walls, windows, and foundation in conventionally built homes. High-performance homes require carefully designed air-tight construction, giving you complete control over the quality of the air you breathe by way of carefully designed and crafted filtered ventilation systems.