flexiblefullpage -
billboard - default
interstitial1 - interstitial
catfish1 - bottom
Currently Reading

Passive House standard gaining influence in commercial sector

Codes and Standards

Passive House standard gaining influence in commercial sector

Some industry watchers predict it will become the base building code. 


By Peter Fabris, Contributing Editor | December 1, 2016

Courtesy of calderoliver, Wikimedia Commons

The Passive House standard will become the base building code for commercial construction, and is having influence in the residential arena, according to some industry observers. 

Critics have questioned whether Passive House makes sense on certain commercial and institutional applications such as multi-family and college housing. If occupants are not committed to saving energy, they argue, the benefits of the standard could be negated. If residents leave lights on and windows open, for example, the premium to build to the standard would not pay off.

Nevertheless, proponents say building with continuity in the thermal barrier makes a building more likely to prove its value in the long run. Furthermore, up to 30% of greenhouse gas emissions could be eliminated is Passive House standards are implemented widely. 

One advocate said there is an average premium of about 5% in construction costs—a figure that is likely to decline. In a possible sign of things to come, Massachusetts has already included PHIUS+2015 standards as an alternative compliance path to prescriptive requirements in the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code. Other states are expected to follow suit.

Related Stories

Legislation | Aug 10, 2016

Calif. bill would speed up environmental lawsuits on certain projects

A nine-month limit has been proposed for some $100 million-plus projects.

Resiliency | Aug 10, 2016

White House pushes for better finance strategies for disaster mitigation and resilience

The move highlights innovative insurance, mortgage, tax, and finance-based strategies.

Regulations | Aug 9, 2016

New trend eases parking requirements for U.S. cities

Transit-oriented development and affordable housing are spurring the movement. 

Regulations | Aug 8, 2016

EPA toughens rules to reduce formaldehyde exposure from composite wood products

Products will now have to be labeled as compliant to the new rules.

Regulations | Aug 5, 2016

Stop-work orders in New York City up sharply this year

The orders come after a rise in the number of deadly accidents that have occurred in the past few years.

Sustainability | Aug 4, 2016

S.F. Bay Area voters approve first-of-its-kind tax to fight impact of climate change

The funds from the tax will be used to restore wetlands

Concrete | Aug 2, 2016

Concrete Association builds case against cross-laminated timber

The campaign asserts that not enough is known about CLT in construction

Seismic Design | Jul 28, 2016

Risk of man-made earthquakes now factor in seismic hazard analysis

Significant risk increases seen in some areas of the U.S.  

Resiliency | Jul 27, 2016

New York’s resilience plans not taking long-term view, critics charge

Continued waterfront development may be regretted later this century.  

Green Specifications | Jul 26, 2016

New Miami Beach law requires LEED certification on projects larger than 7,000 sf

LEED Silver the prescribed standard on buildings larger than 50,000 sf.

boombox1 - default
boombox2 -
native1 -

More In Category


Urban Planning

Popular Denver e-bike voucher program aids carbon reduction goals

Denver’s e-bike voucher program that helps citizens pay for e-bikes, a component of the city’s carbon reduction plan, has proven extremely popular with residents. Earlier this year, Denver’s effort to get residents to swap some motor vehicle trips for bike trips ran out of vouchers in less than 10 minutes after the program opened to online applications.



halfpage1 -

Most Popular Content

  1. 2021 Giants 400 Report
  2. Top 150 Architecture Firms for 2019
  3. 13 projects that represent the future of affordable housing
  4. Sagrada Familia completion date pushed back due to coronavirus
  5. Top 160 Architecture Firms 2021