Forget Energy Star and LEED, Green Building is Passivhaus

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Passivhaus is The Real Standard for a Real Green House

It is hard to believe, but this "mountain hut" in Austria needs next to no heating; it is all done with body heat, cooking heat and passive solar heat. it is an example of a Passivhaus design, built to a standard developed by the Passivhaus Institut in Germany, based on the work of Dr. Wolfgang Feist.

As Martin Holladay notes at Green Building Advisor, The words "passive solar" and passive design have been around for a while, and there can be confusion (see Passive Design and Passive House Mean Two Different Things) so a lot of people, including me, promote the German spelling of Passivhaus to keep things clear, another linguistic battle I appear to be losing.

But what is it really?

More on the Schiestlhaus in Wikipedia

Credit: DI Wilhelm Hofbauer via Austria Passive House Whistler