What is the difference between a “Passivhaus” and a zero carbon house? Do these building standards have a legal status, and are they relevant to commercial buildings?

Q

What is the difference between a “Passivhaus” and a zero carbon house? Do these building standards have a legal status, and are they relevant to commercial buildings?

A

Both these terms describe buildings that achieve high standards of energy efficiency. However, they are different concepts, with a “zero carbon home” being more loosely defined than a “Passivhaus”.

Passivhaus buildings are built to an exacting standard according to principles developed by the Passivhaus Institute in Germany. The formal definition from the Passivhaus Institute states that “a Passivhaus is a building in which thermal comfort can be achieved solely by post-heating or post-cooling the fresh air flow required for a good indoor air quality, without the need for additional recirculation of air.”

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