Germany and Austria were early passive house adopters (>5,000 dwellings) with Scandinavians eagerly trying to catch up. About 130 apartments in Sweden have met the passive house building standard, where each square meter of space uses a maximum 15 kWh of energy per year. Around 300 additional apartments are expected to go up in Sweden this year, and in Scandinavia 40 different projects are underway, including the single family "Fin One" in Finland and the renovation project Brogården in Alingsås.
Danish architect Olav Langenkamp and his family are getting ready to move into the first certified passive house in Denmark, called Ebeltoft and shown above, later this month. Building passively is a method, rather than a design, says the Passive House Institute, as it must be adapted for varying geographies. Heat recovery, insulation, "super" windows, and passive solar gains are the main features of the heating for passive dwellings. In the case of Ebeltoft, the house uses 80 percent less energy than a same-sized standard Danish home, saving 2 tons of CO2 emissions per year. Europe hopes by 2015 all new dwellings will be built to the passive standards it hopes to have ready by the end of this year. Via ::Passivhus.dk (Danish only)