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Passivhaus Standards

There are now three Passivhaus standards for new buildings and one for retrofit, all based on the same reliable approach:  


Passivhaus Classic:  the original Passivhaus standard, as described in this website. For new buildings this is the minimum standard to be reached before Passivhaus Plus and Passivhaus Premium standards can be awarded.

A Passivhaus Classic will be certified when it meets the following criteria:



​Heating Demand 



Peak Heating Load



Primary Energy Demand





Low air leakage

Surface Temperatures

Summer Overheating 

Ventilation (fresh air)



15 kWh/sq m /year (for a typical 100 sq m  house with electricity at 14p/kWh, the annual heating cost is £210 or £4.04 per week).

10 W/sq m (for a typical 100 sq m house a single 1kW heater, or ten 100W light bulbs heats whole Passivhaus on the coldest day of the year).

135 kWh/sq m/year (this is total energy use, including losses in transmission cables, the power station and extracting fuel).


no draughts (0.6 air changes per hour at 50Pa pressure).
17 degrees C or above, even on the coldest day in winter, including windows
No more than 10% of annual hours greater than 25 degrees C, and usually a lot less than this.
Approx. 30 
 m/hour per person; a scientifically proven level of fresh air optimum for health.

Passivhaus Plus

This building will meet the same criteria as Passivhaus Classic with primary energy use met on site with renewable energy sources.


Passivhaus Premium

This is a Passivhaus Classic building where primary energy use is exceeded on site with renewable energy sources.

EnerPHit – Passivhaus for Retrofit

Different targets can be used which address the challenges posed by existing buildings.

For these the EnerPHit criteria for air tightness and heating demand apply, the other criteria being the same as Passivhaus:

EnerPHit Heating Demand             25 kWh/sq m/year.
EnerPHit Peak Heating Load         10 W/sq m.
EnerPHit Air-tightness                    1.0 air change per hour at 50Pa pressure (no draughts).

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