Advent calendar

25 years of Passive House Institute


The holiday season is here! To celebrate its 25th anniversary, the Passive House Institute, together with IG Passivhaus Deutschland and the International Passive House Association, created an advent calendar to let you discover interesting facts and pictures about the Institute and its contribution to climate protection in the building sector. From December 1 until December 25, we will open a new door each day and unveil interesting facts and photos of the past years. Keep an eye on our social media channels and don't miss the content, offers and the calendar gifts!


How can I win the calendar gifts?


Keep your eyes open, throughout the advent calendar period there will be the chance to win special goodies!


To participate:

1. Make sure you're following us on the platform you're entering the contest on!

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2. Like the contest post and tell us what's
your favourite Passive House experience or what you like the most about Passive House!

3) Optional: Are your family, friends or clients enthusiastic about Passive House? Share this post in your feed or stories and spread the word on the advent calendar!

That's it! You'll be entered to win the gift of the advent calendar! You can enter once on each platform to increase your chances of winning the prize. Once the contest of the day will close, we will randomly withdraw a name among all the comments and get in touch with the winner. Each day the contest starts at 9am CET as soon as the advent calendar door opens and it will be active until the morning after at 9am CET, when the new door will be published.


Terms and conditions


A trip down memory lane - What happened during the last 25 years?


Click on the image to enlarge and download the advent calendar



December 25, 2021


This year also marks the end of the #EfficiencyFirst campaign of the International Passive House Association. Various campaigns, such as the IceBoxChallenge in Glasgow, have drawn attention to the topic of energy efficiency. Even after the campaign, iPHA, the Passive House Institute and IG Passivhaus will of course continue to campaign for energy efficiency, comfort, convenience and environmental protection. We hope that this Advent calendar has given you an idea that these terms are not contradictory. On the respective websites, you have the opportunity to read up on the details of the individual doors at any time. Last but not least, whether you live in a Passive House or not, we wish you a healthy, cosy and blessed Christmas with your loved ones!

- Efficiency: The First Renewable Energy


December 24, 2021

A great example!

Bahnstadt in Heidelberg is the largest Passive House development in Europe. As early as 2008, the city decided to realise the buildings in the new Bahnstadt district in the climate-friendly Passive House standard. In the meantime, more than 5500 people live here. In addition to shops, restaurants and facilities for daily needs, they also find a community centre, a fire station, a cultural and event centre, a DIY store, a furniture store, a cinema... all realised in Passive House standard! The quarter continues to grow: a conference centre and a new Stadtentree are currently being built in Bahnstadt. And Bahnstadt has inspired others. For example, the Railway City in Gaobeidian, China. It is well on its way to becoming the largest Passive House district in the world.


December 23, 2021

25 editions of the Passive House Conference!

The first Passive House Conference also took place in 1996, the year the Passive House Institute was founded. Over the years, the conference has become international and has become a meeting place for professional exchange among experts and Passive House enthusiasts. In the last two years, the conference had to be held online due to the pandemic. Even though all participants lacked personal contact, the new format also succeeded in creating a spirit of optimism and sending out clear messages to the building sector: Energy efficiency first!

- International Passive House Conference


December 22, 2021

The perfect pair!

Energy transition means the comprehensive generation of energy from renewable sources! In the process, the energy supply of our buildings will increasingly be switched to electricity. This can only succeed if our buildings require significantly less energy from the outset and are more energy-efficient than they are at present. Buildings in the Passive House standard have extremely low energy requirements! They are therefore fit for the future. In 2015, the Passive House Institute introduced the additional efficiency classes Passive House Plus and Passive House Premium. Passive Houses and renewables - the perfect pair!

- Primary Energy Renewable (article on Passipedia)


December 21, 2021

Open for all!

Passive Houses are good for the climate and for the wallet. In addition, they offer healthy living and a high level of comfort. The Passive House Standard is open to anyone who wants to build or renovate a house. All information is freely available to everyone. To effectively protect the climate - and thus ourselves - we need to build better than legally required. We invite you to acquire important knowledge on energy-efficient building and renovation. Our knowledge database Passipedia, for example, is a treasure trove full of information.


December 20, 2021

PHPP plans Passive Houses reliably!

With the Passive House Project Planning Package (PHPP), the first calculation tool was released in 1999, which massively facilitated planning. Over the years, the PHPP has been internationalised and made more versatile. For example, it is now also possible to take summer comfort into account. The newly published PHPP10 even allows for the uncomplicated inclusion of special features of the southern hemisphere in any form. The PHPP has proven to be a very reliable tool for planning Passive Houses that deliver what they promise. The winner of today's prize draw will receive a 50% discount on the latest version of PHPP 10!


December 19, 2021

Passive House and summer comfort

Climate change can already be felt - the summers are getting hotter and hotter! So what actually happens in a Passive House? Quite simply: nothing. Because in the design of a Passive House, summer and winter comfort are equally considered for the respective climatic conditions. The energy-efficient building envelope does the rest to keep the heat outside in summer and the cold outside in winter. The Passive House Institute has also made special tools available that make it even easier to calculate humidity and indoor temperature requirements. Today we are giving away a free condensation tool with which you can easily carry out exactly these calculations for your project!


December 18, 2021

In vogue: Passive House districts

What protects the climate better than a Passive House? That's right, several Passive Houses! More and more Passive House districts are being built in Germany and around the world. The pioneer is the Bahnstadt in Heidelberg, the largest Passive House district in Europe, where construction began in 2012. In Munich, too, more and more extremely energy-efficient neighbourhoods are being designated, such as the ecological settlement with 36 residential units in Prinz-Eugen-Park (photo).

The Passive House Institute has developed the districtPH tool for the energy balancing of groups of buildings up to neighbourhoods. It can also be used to examine renovation and development scenarios for existing buildings. Electricity and heating networks, renewable energies, electromobility and public consumers are included in the energy balance.


December 17, 2021

Future-proof renovation!

In Germany alone, more than 21 million buildings consume a large part of their energy exclusively for heating. A lot more than necessary! An enormous number of tonnes of CO2 emissions could be saved if our building stock were significantly more energy efficient. In 2015, the Passive House Institute introduced the EnerPHit Standard for the retrofittinof old buildings. For modernisation with Passive House components, the EnerPHit Standard allows slightly higher energy consumption than for Passive Houses. At the same time, EnerPHit buildings also offer a high level of living comfort and a healthy living environment.

In the picture the first EnerPHit retrofitted building, built in Germany.


December 16, 2021

Focus windows
Buildings lose heat! However, if a building only gives off very, very little heat, then it is probably a Passive House. In addition to good thermal insulation, good windows also ensure that little heat is lost. In our latitudes, triple-glazed windows are recommended in any case.
The Passive House Institute's component database lists the numerous certified, i.e. quality-assured windows for various climates.


December 15, 2021

Knowledge made easy

Since 2003 IG-Passivhaus Deutschland and since 2010 the International Passive House Association (iPHA), have supported the international Passive House community and Passive House Institute in disseminating Passive House research and knowledge around the globe. They organise regular events and offer a huge range of informational materials in a variety of languages. Navigate the website to find out more! Today, we are giving away a free one-year iPHA membership, including full access to Passipedia


December 14, 2021

The location of a Passive House it's not decisive!

Can a Passive House also face north? Given the importance of the solar gains as a heat source, orienting the building to face the sun is a high priority when planning a Passive House. However, an apartment building in Frankfurt shows that it can be done differently, with 8 flats out of 19 facing north. And yet: with their low heating requirements, the north-facing flats also meet the Passive House standard. The prerequisite for this is good planning and implementation of the Passive House criteria! Today you can win a 50% discount on designPH!

- "Passive house in a north-facing location" by Søren Peper, Dr. Wolfgang Feist and Dr. -Ing. Rainer Pfluger (in German)


December 13, 2021

We are happy to pass on!

The Passive House Institute is happy to pass on its expertise in extremely energy-efficient construction and renovation: already 100 certifiers around the world have been trained by the Passive House Institute, giving reliable quality assurance. Currently, more than 3 million square metres of living space have been certified to meet the Passive House Standard, a number that is growing steadily! Comment below to win a 10% discount on the Passive House Designer course!


December 12, 2021

Highly energy-efficient building - it's possible anywhere in the world!

The Passive House Standard criteria can be met in different climatic and geographical conditions. Passive Houses can be built in very warm climates as well as in cold climates. The planning of highly energy-efficient buildings is greatly simplified by the Passive House Project Planning Package (PHPP), a practical tool used by planners all over the world for reliable energy balancing. 

- Find out all the relevant information about Passive House buildings in different climates on Passipedia


December 11, 2021

Pioneer for climate protection

In 2007, the city councillors of the City of Frankfurt decided that new constructions and retrofits of buildings with municipal participation have to comply with the Passive House standard and that the buildings will be designed accordingly. Frankfurt is thus an early pioneer in energy-efficient building. Fittingly, the Energy Department is also housed in a Passive House building (see photo). Internationally, the Passive House Standard is becoming more and more anchored in building regulations, including in Glasgow (UK), Vancouver (Canada) and New York City (USA).

- List of current legislation and funding initiatives at the international level


December 10, 2021

Worldwide network

Only those who know what aspects matter can reliably plan highly energy-efficient buildings. The Passive House Institute offers further training to become a Passive House planner - and has been doing so for 15 years. Architects and engineers all over the world take advantage of this opportunity! All experts contribute to a highly energy-efficient building stock and thus to climate protection.

- Discover the network of Passive House professionals!


December 9, 2021

From 0 to 1111!

For the world's first Passive House in Darmstadt, some components still had to be manufactured individually by the companies, including the triple-glazed windows!
Do-it-yourself conversion was the motto for the central ventilation unit, which the builders equipped with a newly developed DC fan and an air quality control system. Today, 30 years later, these components have long been a matter of course and are available in series production.
Since its foundation 25 years ago, the Passive House Institute has certified components for energy-efficient building and renovation.

At the same time, the Institute supports manufacturers in the development of products. In the meantime, more than 1111 products have received the quality seal of the Passive House Institute. Considering that it all started with practically nothing, that's quite an achievement, isn't it? Today you can win the Conference Proceedings 2020 and the Conference Proceedings 2021 as a downloadable PDF!

In the picture of today, you can see the first windows and ventilation units that were individually made.

- Discover the vast range of certified Passive House components in the components database!


December 8, 2021

Premiere in Frankfurt

The world's first certified, i.e. quality-assured hospital in the Passive House standard is being built in Frankfurt am Main. The Passive House Institute has done the basic research for this. A hospital has special requirements, especially with regard to hygiene and comfort in the patient rooms. Any building project can be implemented in an extremely energy-efficient manner: Hotels, museums, fire stations, supermarkets... everything is possible!

- Baseline study - implementing the Passive House concept in hospitals

- Video of the hospital in Frankfurt am Main

- Examples of Passive House supermarkets


December 7, 2021

The 5 Principles

Passive Houses simply have thick insulation, don't they? Not quite! The sticking points for typical heat loss in a building are in the walls, windows and roof. This is exactly where the Passive House Standard comes in!

All in all, five principles are decisive for the high #EnergyEfficiency and the high living comfort in a #PassiveHouse: good thermal insulation, triple-glazed windows and a ventilation system with heat recovery. In addition, there is an airtight building envelope and the avoidance of thermal bridges. Quite simple really, isn't it? And logical! Today you can win a free download of the thermal bridge tool!

- Open this folder to have a look at some interesting graphics

- You can read all about the Passive House principles on Passipedia


December 6, 2021

High distinction

In 2001, building physicist and founder of the Passivhaus Institute Wolfgang Feist received the German Environmental Award. The Federal Foundation for the Environment writes in its laudation: "Contrary to popular expert opinion and based on extensive theoretical research, Dr Feist has succeeded for the first time in building a so-called Passive House that manages with an annual heating energy demand of less than 15 kWh per square metre annually, which corresponds to about 1/14 of the average consumption of heating energy of the existing building stock. [...] Dr Feist was able to prove that the Passive House concept works in practice and that buildings can manage without conventional heating." In the meantime, it has also been scientifically proven that the Passive House Standard can be successfully implemented worldwide, across every climate.

- A video by DBU about the Environmental Prize 2001 (in German)

- More information on the prize

- An informative flyer



December 5, 2021

Everything is possible

Any type of building can be constructed in the extremely energy-efficient Passive House Standard. There are now gymnasiums, kindergartens and schools, swimming pools, factory buildings and soon also a hospital in the Passive House Standard. Curious? Take a look on the Passive House Database!

- Graphic showing the development of Passive House certification
- Passive House Award books
- Example of a swimming pool project
- Example of gymnasiums
- Example of schools

... and more!



December 4, 2021

Heating master!

Since its construction 30 years ago, the world's first Passive House in Darmstadt has already consumed around ten (!) times less energy than conventional buildings at the time. Compared to today's new buildings, a building in the Passive House standard still requires four (!) times less energy for heating and cooling.

- Graphics showing the energy demand of the Passive House in Kranichstein

- PH-Kranichstein in the PH database

- Concentrated Passive House knowledge on Passipedia



December 3, 2021


Passive House - very good CO2 balance

A building is constructed once, but used for many decades. Over these many years, a comparatively large amount of energy is used for heating and - in warmer climates - for cooling.
Many buildings require far too much energy for this. The building sector therefore has a really poor CO2 balance, including buildings for trade and commerce, ending in more than a third of all emissions being caused by buildings. #PassiveHouse provides a remedy: Passive House buildings consume significantly less energy for heating and cooling. They are therefore an active contribution to climate protection.

The graphs in this folder can give you a better picture of the global share of final energy consumed by buildings.

In today's picture you can see a termography of an EnerPHit retrofit project surrounded by other standard buildings - what an impressive difference! This EnerPHit project, called "Tight House", is located in Brooklyn, New York, and was awarded in the Retrofit category at the Passive House Awards 2014.


December 2, 2021

Foundation of the Passive House Institute and Overview

25 years ago, in 1996, the Passive House Institute was founded to intensify the research about highly energy efficient construction and refurbishment.
Together with the international network iPHA the Passive House Institute also spreads the word about the advantages of highly energy efficient buildings. Everything in order to protect our climate. Today you can win a 50% discount on the Passive House Fundamentals course!

In today's picture you can see the first Passive House terraced House project built in Wiesbaden, Germany, in 1997. Click on the link to see this pilot project in the Passive House Database!
Check out some pictures of the early years of the Institute and the growth of Passive House constructions here. The current growth of Passive House certified buildings worldwide is well represented in the linked graphic - pretty surprising how much the Standard has been adopted since the early days, right?


December 1, 2021

First Passive House in Darmstadt-Kranichstein, Germany

The Passive House Institute wishes you a happy start of the Advent season! Do you know for how many years the world's first Passive House in Darmstadt-Kranichstein has been reliably protecting the climate? Today you can win a high-quality PHI jute bag! #HappyBirthdayPHI

- 30 years: The world's first Passive House

- 25 years of Passive House, a video collection


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