The Keys to Successful Passive House Implementation

Imagine buildings so well constructed they need virtually no heating or cooling and can cut normal utility bills by 50%–80%. Now imagine these buildings are also so airtight there is almost no air leakage or outside street noise, yet they provide healthy, fresh, filtered air throughout the day whether windows or doors are open or not. Moreover, these buildings are not dark boxes with tiny windows, but light, bright, spacious structures with modern architectural design. Further, when paired with high efficiency all electric appliances and on-site photovoltaics (PV), these buildings can be virtually zero carbon emissions. And, last but not least, they can be new construction or retrofit and are adaptable to historic, traditional, and contemporary aesthetics as well.

Buildings like this are not the pipedreams of architects or environmentalists. In fact, these “passive houses” are common in some parts of the world. For more than 30 years, Passive House (PH) building strategies have been applied to single-family and multifamily homes, commercial and government offices, schools, skyscrapers, and other structures across the US and around the globe. The need for such buildings continues to increase as the world grapples with adapting to extreme weather conditions, wildfire smoke, antiviral air handling, energy grid outages, and other resiliency challenges. Yet despite these many advantages, buildings of this type are rare in the State of California. While the scope this case study was too narrow to address the numerous policy, regulatory, and market barriers, this is in part due to a misalignment between California’s goals and policy objectives and state building codes.


Please provide your feedback | Dear Passive House Friends and Allies,
California’s Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) recently posted this report that outlines pathways to scale Passive House in California, using successful policy case studies from across the United States and around the globe. We’re reaching out to ask you to submit a brief comment of encouragement and support. The deadline for comments is soon – April 25th – so we’d very much appreciate your soonest response.

Draft suggested comment: (feel free to personalize) (register and log-in)

My name is _____ and I’m writing on behalf of  _(your org or biz)_ to support the findings of this report. We’d like to encourage the CPUC to implement similar Passive House incentive programs in California. We’ve seen these programs used to scale high performance metrics, methods and products in many cities, states and regions. We look to California’s CPUC to join these other regions in playing a leading role towards scaling effective market transformation, using Passive House standards as a proven and effective vehicle.