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Energy standards

The Passive House Criteria for Buildings were set by the Passive House Institute in the late 1990’s. They precisely define the different requirements which a building must fulfil in order to achieve the highly efficient Passive House Standard. In addition to the Passive House Standard, the current document containing the Criteria also includes the EnerPHit Standard that was introduced in 2010 for building retrofits using Passive House components, and the requirements for the PHI Low Energy Building which were introduced in 2015.

All standards can be applied in all climate zones worldwide. They apply for residential buildings as well as for most non-residential buildings (e.g. office and educational buildings)

Passive House Classic, Plus and Premium

Passive House buildings are characterised by especially high levels of indoor comfort with minimum energy consumption.  The Passive House Standard offers excellent economic efficiency especially for new builds.

The Passive House Classes  Classic, Plus or Premium can be achieved depending on the use of renewable energy sources.

EnerPHit Classic, Plus und Premium

EnerPHit is the established Standard for refurbishment of existing buildings using Passive House components. Despite the slightly higher energy demand, it offers virtually all the advantages of the Passive House Standard.

The EnerPHit Classes Classic, Plus or Premium can be achieved depending on the use of renewable energy sources

Staged retrofit can also achieve EnerPHit standard with the help of an EnerPHit Retrofit Plan and pre-certification as an EnerPHit (or a Passive House) project.

Low Energy Building

The PHI Low Energy Building Standard is suitable for buildings which cannot attain the criteria for Passive House Classic for various reasons, but still offer many of its advantages

Criteria for Buildings

The Criteria for Buildings describe the specific requirements defined for achieving each of the standards.
They are published by the Passive House Institute in German, English and Spanish.


Version 10c in English- SI units
( pdf 6.6 MB)

Version 10c in German
( pdf 6,4 MB)

Version 10c in English - IP units
( pdf 6.6 MB)

Version 10b in Spanish

Previous versions of the criteria

Previous versions of the building criteria can be found in the archive.
Relevant modifications compared to previous versions are described in section 1 of the document.

Criteria for Buildings in other languages

Translations into other languages exist and are produced by various partners and Passive House organisations worldwide. Please note that translations of criteria are purely informative and not binding:
Criteria for Buildings in other languages

If you would like to translate the criteria into a specific language, please contact the Passive House Institute.

Criteria under development

New approaches for building certification are under development, and can already be used for projects as part of a test phase. These include:

The preliminary versions of these criteria are available upon request and may be used for the certification of projects only upon written confirmation from the Building Certifier and the Passive House Institute. If you are interested in any of these options, please contact the Passive House Institute or an accredited Building Certifier.

See also:

Advantages of certification
Building Certification Guide
Building certifiers
Plaque for certified Passive Houses



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