Community: PassivHaus

PassivHaus is a standard of construction that yields extremely tight envelopes and low energy use.

The PassivHaus Institute is in Germany, but we have a branch here in North America as well, Passive House Institute US

Q & A Instructions

[Click map to enlarge]

The GBAGreenBuildingAdvisor.com web site has a wealth of articles on a wide variety of construction topics. Before posting your question, you may want to check out the articles on this page: How To Do Everything. You just might discover an article there that provides the information you seek.

Please register for a free account or sign in to ask and answer green building questions.

If you want to post a question, the usual rules of courtesy apply:
1. Be nice.
2. If you can't be nice, be polite.
3. If you can't be nice or polite — well, please be brief.

To attach a photo or illustration: Under the box labeled “More explanation,” look for the words “File attachments.” Click that, and you should be able to attach a photo.

Thanks for joining the conversation!


12 Answers

What do you wish you or the owner knew about a passive house?

Hi all!

I'm moving towards doing passive house development in Massachusetts. I've really grown to love the standard and what is required in building quality in order to create the structure.

Really for anyone, I'd love to hear your experience on educating the public and potential buyers.

Alternatively, if you have a passive house, I'd pose the same question to you. What do you wish you would have known about the house or what are your pain points now (if any)?

I'd appreciate the info, and I'm happy to chat offline about this if you prefer, just shoot me a message.

Asked By chuckac | Mar 4 17
1 Answer

Can anyone comment on the performance of the Rehau 4700 Geneo insulated uPVC window and door extrusions?

Can anyone comment on the performance of the Rehau 4700 Geneo insulated uPVC window and door extrusions that are manufactured by Wasco Windows in Wisconsin? They are apparently PassivHaus Certified. Are also triple glazed.

I am planning on building a Certified PassivHaus as well as Net Zero. Also want to use Quadblock ICF for the construction of the envelope.
Part of the design will have a full basement and two doors connecting to the garage. House is located in Ontario , Canada.
Any comments?
Thanks, Andy

Asked By Andreas Voura | Feb 15 17
2 Answers

Spray foam and abating moisture issues in Zone 4

I am remodeling a home outside of Seattle, WA. I plan on spray foaming the existing 2x4 exterior walls with closed cell spray foam (looking for R-24) and plan to frame out a new interior wall (probably 2x3).

I'd like to install a 2" polyisocyanurate board in the gap between my existing exterior wall and new interior wall to add a continuous R-13 across the faces of my exterior wall studs. The polyisocyanurate will be caulked to the studs, to each other, and joints will be taped.

Asked By Matthew Wahlrab | Jan 7 17
3 Answers

PV cost update (nothern NJ, near NYC):

We just installed a 9.6 kW PV system on our PHIUS-certified passivhaus in northern NJ.

I was the installer of record. I hired a licensed electrician who has an experienced PV installer crew.

It has 30 320W LG panels, a SolarEdge 10 kW inverter and 30 of their Optimizers. We used the QuickRack panel mount system - no rails.

The materials cost roughly $18,000. The installation cost around $7200.

That works out to around $2.66 per watt.

When I priced the same installation from the large installer companies, they quoted a bit more than $4 per watt.

Asked By Len Moskowitz | Nov 17 16
20 Answers

LG Split HVAC with dehumidifier

We built a PassivHaus with a Silver rating. We are in the South so it is hot and humid. We have a mini lg split with a dehumidifier and an ERV system on our 2200 sf home. We have been in the home for 4 months now and cannot get the humidity under control. It is currently between 71-80% at any given time. Seems to increase when we turn on the dehumidifier (80%). Our smoke alarms have started to go off when it gets that high. My shoes have molded and the sheetrock tape is bubbling off. The temperature in the house is lovely, but it feels and is wet.

Asked By Rhonda Carpenter | Aug 10 16
5 Answers

Instantaneous gas water heater with small tank to meet PHIUS+ hot water performance requirement

We are well into the construction now, and don't have a lot of flexibility. For example, have 3'' venting pipes in place for what was meant to be Eternal condensing hybrid gas hot water heater with 2 gallon tank. The small tank helped to reach PHIUS+ requirements of not wasting more than 0.6 gallon of water before the water temperature at the furthers fixture reaches 75F. (We also designed very small diameter hot water pipes to help that goal).

Asked By Lucyna de Barbaro | Jul 18 16
1 Answer

Solar Convection or Passive House?

We are interested in building a home that is very energy efficient and we are working with an architect. He had given us preliminary drawings of a convection solar house. Does anyone have any experience with this type of home? Essentially, it has an area on the South side that acts as a heat collector - the sunspace. It is all windows and runs the length of the house but is only 8 feet deep. Then there is a full wall with windows and patio doors leading to the great room. We want tons of light and access to the outdoors.

Asked By Margaret Demko | Mar 31 16
9 Answers

Planning to construct a certified PassivHaus just north of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Currently live in a 2 storey ICF house with a full basement that I built 16 years ago. Really believe that ICF is the only way to build. After doing some research, I haven't found any passive houses that have been built with an ICF building envelope. Almost all houses have been built with various wood framing systems combined with cellulose or other insulation products. Is there a problem with an ICF building envelope?

Thanks in advance,

Andy Voura

Asked By Andreas Voura | Mar 17 16
0 Answers

Slab Floor Construction

I was a watching a video today of a slab on grade construction at a new build PH in Ireland. Their buildup was radon barrier, concrete, and then what appeared to be 2 layers of 4" thick polyiso-like sheets. The sheets were to be taped into aerated concrete blocks around the perimeter to maintain the thermal envelope. Seems as if in the US, the insulation layer is usually underneath the concrete. I know in a retro you can put foam on top of concrete, but anyone know why is it not typically done this way in new PH builds here, especially if you don't want a finished concrete basement floor?

Asked By Jonathan Lawrence CZ 4A New Jersey | Feb 1 16
6 Answers

Passive Aggressive House

What are the Pros and Cons of a Passive Aggressive House?

How do you know if your house is Passive Aggressive?

Asked By Hal Sartelle | Jan 24 16
Register for a free account and join the conversation


Get a free account and join the conversation!
Become a GBA PRO!