What is Passive House

The Passivhaus standard originated from a conversation in May 1988 between Bo Adamson of Lund University, Sweden and Wolfgang Feist (an Austrian) of the Institut für Wohnen und Umwelt (Institute for Housing and the Environment, Darmstadt, Germany).

In September 1996, the Passivhaus-Institut was founded in Darmstadt, Germany to promote and control Passivhaus standards. As of 2010 an estimated 25,000+ Passivhaus structures have been built. Most are located in Germany and Austria, others in various countries worldwide.

As of 2019, New Zealand has 26 “certified” passive houses and, in the Auckland region, 3. We will be the next one on the list! Click here and you can find the current list of certified passive houses in New Zealand. 

What is Passive House?

Passive house (German: Passivhaus) is a standard for energy efficiency in a building, which reduces the building’s ecological footprint. It results in ultra-low energy usage to heat or cool the space in a building.

The building standard means a warm, comfortable, and healthy home, which is energy efficient. The temperature is even throughout the house, which should typically be between 20 and 25 degrees while consuming minimal energy. Passive Houses consume between 75%-90% less heating energy than a conventional house in New Zealand.


Passive House New Zealand brochure

Passive House: Homes Where People Thrive – a guide for people planning to build a new home

Click here and free to download.

Sustainable Engineering brochure

Released this great little resource for designers and their clients wanting to build a Passive House but not quite sure where to start

Click here and free to download.


Passive House explained in 90 seconds

Passive House Database

Keeping track of Passive House buildings worldwide is essential if we want to get a clear picture of the overall development of the Passive House movement. Feel free to register on the international Passive House database. Be sure to encourage others to do the same! Registration is free of charge.





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Auckland, New Zealand