Passive House: Birth

Founded in 1996 by Dr. Wolfgang Feist, the Passive House Institute championed the use of highly efficient buildings as well as certified and tested technology necessary in Passive Houses. Originally developed by Dr. Feist and Professor Bo Adamson, cost effectiveness and energy efficiency drove the development of the Passive House typology. According to Peter Cox, cheap energy meant that extra costs could not be recuperated effectively in the early 1990’s. To make the new Passive Houses cost effective, the proposal was to simplify the HVAC system required to heat the house, reducing initial investment costs, which would be transferred to insulation or other more costly endeavors. The first passive houses were completely simulated before construction and were subsidized by the Hessian Ministry of the Economy (2005). These experimental units in Darmstadt-Kranichstein validated the calculation and simulation methods used by Feist and Adamson.

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