Examples of Residential Passive Houses

Basic Informations on Passive Houses                        (deutsche Fassung )

Up to the year 2005, more than six thousand residential Passive Houses have been realised. There are detailed project documentations, i.e. from the Passive House Institute, the IG-Passive House and the Passive House Services Ltd, available on the internet. In the following, some selected examples will be shown which have been of some importance at previous Conferences on Passive Houses. Naturally, the chosen examples cannot claim to draw a complete picture but provide an insight into what a Passive House can look like.

A detailed english description of a Passive House settlement can be downloaded here:
Passive Houses Kronsberg ( pdf, english, 4.5 MB big file)

Passive House Darmstadt Kranichstein – the first Passive House, built in 1990. Four terraced houses in solid building, first use of insulated window frames. Architects: Prof. Bott /Ridder /Westermeyer. This building has been subject-matter of extensive measurements. The results have been published, including documentation of the building process, in the conference transcript of the first Conference on Passive Houses in 1996 (page 153-180). Documentation on the internet:15 Years of Passive House Darmstadt Kranichstein. This building has got an annual heat requirement of approximately 10 kWh/(m²a). Thereby being a one-litre-house, it was the first normally occupied building with such high energy efficiency.

Single-family Passive House in Lindlar near Cologne. Architect: Manfred Brausem, built in 1998. On the whole, five Passive Houses have been built in this first estate of Passive Houses in North-Rhine Westphalia. One of the first realised free-standing single-family houses that were built according to the Passive House Standard. Mr. Manfred Brausem wrote a report for the 2nd Conference on Passive Houses in 1998 entitled „ Solar Passive Houses in modern timber construction“ ( p. 169-179). More information on this and other projects of M. Brausem available on the Internet at www.passiv-haus.de.

The estate of Passive Houses in Wiesbaden made it possible to compare 22 Passive houses to 24 low-energy buildings on the same building site; a survey carried out by the Institut for housing and environment, Darmstadt (IWU). Folkmar Rasch had planned the estate which was realised in 1997. In 1999, at the third Conference on Passive Houses, first measurement results could already be presented by Tobias Loga ( p. 93-110).

More information on the Internet: Passive Houses Wiesbaden.

A real passive houses boom took place: More than 100 new Passive House projects were presented at the fourth Conference on Passive Houses. Among them was the first multi-storied Passive House in a social housing scheme – built from GWG Kassel and planned by the architects Prof. Dr. Schneider, Hegger (HHS) and Nolte (ASP). This project has been part of the European programme „CEPHEUS“ and has proved that the Passive House Standard can be applied to publically promoted multi-storey buildings as well. On the whole, 82 % of heating energy has been saved in comparison to a similar building of „conventional“ construction. Report on the Internet: Passive House Marbachshöhe.

This single-family Passive House was designed and built by Carsten Grobe and was presented by him at the fifth Conference on Passive Houses. Next to residential buildings, Mr. Grobe has also planned and realised non-residential buildings in compliance with the Passive House Standard.

Find basic informations on the passive house principles here.

During the 11th international Conference on Passive Houses taking place 2007 April 13th to 15th in Bregenz latest Passive House developments in the Austrian state of Vorarlberg will be shown: www.passivhaustagung.de.

The hall of residence „Burse“ on the main campus of the University of Wuppertal was built in the 70s and in respect to its modernisation a true dump of squandering energy. It was turned successfully into a Passive house by Michael Müller and Christian Schlüter. The presented results were a highlight at the 6th Conference on Passive Houses in Basel 2002 (p.159-167).

At the 7th Conference on Passive Houses in Hamburg, architect Andreas Thomsen illustrated the operation method of an award-winning concept: the Passive House building complex in the St. Pauli district, Paul-Rosen street, Hamburg. An inner-city gap between buildings is being closed – by means of an ambitious project.

"1000 Passive Houses in Austria" - was the title of Günter Lang’s lecture at the 8th Conference on Passive Houses 2004 in Krems by the Danube. In their projects and designs, Austrian architects especially have used the manifold scopes of design inherent in the Passive House Concept.

Single-family Passive House in Ardagger, designed by the architects Prehal and Poppe. This residential building requires no conventional heating but is fed mainly by passive solar energy and internal heat loads.

Another design by Prehal and Poppe: The Passive House in Öhling with an envelope of untreated larch with a terrace conquering the grounds of the valley respectively of the village. Contrary to common doctrine, this house is not facing south (year of construction: 2000).

In the year 1999, architect Prof. Hermann Kaufmann realized his architectural office Kaufmann-Lenz-Gmeiner in the city of Schwarzbach/Voralberg according to Passive House standards.

Passive House near St. Jacob in Frankfurt. Design and realisation by the office „factor 10“ (Petra Genz and Folkmer Rasch). The shown part of the building is looking out north onto the Taunus and the Feldberg. The scientific analysis was presented by Sören Peper at the 9th conference on Passive Houses in Ludwigshafen (p.373-380). The project report can be downloaded on the Internet: Passive House facing North (German).

(updated: 2006-11-06 author: Dr. Wolfgang Feist © Passive House Institute; unchanged copy is permitted, please give reference to this page)