History of Passivhaus

The idea of Passivhaus evolved out of a number of strands in low energy building science. Residents moved into the first prototype Passivhaus building in 1991, in a suburb of Darmstadt-Kranichstein, about 27 miles south of Frankfurt in south west Germany. The lessons learned from this first prototype were used to develop the Passivhaus standard and the PHPP.

In 1996, a research institute, the Passivhaus Institut, was founded by Dr Wolfgang Feist to continue developing the Passivhaus standard and to promote its adoption internationally. Five years later, Passivhaus buildings started being built across Europe as part of the CEPH project. The first certified North American Passivhaus was built in 2006 and the first certified Passivhaus buildings in the UK were completed in Machynlleth, Powys, Wales in 2009.

Today, one of the focuses of Passivhaus development is working with manufacturers to develop better and more Passivhaus certified products: particularly windows and heat recovery ventilation units. The Passivhaus Institut is currently finalising the new Passivhaus standard for refurbishments: the EnerPHit Standard.

Passivhaus Darmstadt-Kranichstein
The first prototype Passivhaus: an apartment building in Darmstadt, Germany
CEPHEUS project example
CEPH project: a detached home in Lower Austria
First certified non-residential UK PH First certified residential UK PH
1st certified UK Passivhaus projects: Machynlleth, Wales
AECB PHT member © Passivhaus Homes Ltd.
RIBA PH designer