Passive House Design

The Passive House concept was developed back in Germany in 1991 by a professor Dr Wolfgang Fiest. Born out of a need to build homes that were not only sustainable, but were ultra-low energy, comfortable, affordable and have excellent indoor air quality. The name comes from the German “PassivHaus”, the literal translation is passive building. Passive House is passive only in the sense that the building envelope does most of the work to maintain the comfortable temperature inside the building (without the active input from the occupants).

How does Passive House Design work?

Designed and built in accordance with 5 building-science principles.

How does passive house design work - Archisoul Architects - Sydney

Benefits of a Passive House

The house works for the inhabitants, hence the term ‘Passive’ and the inhabitants don’t need to do or think about ventilation, heating, cooling and so on.
Passive Design Principles, Archisoul Architects


The temperature is maintained at a comfortable range (between 20 and 25 degrees).


The ventilation system must provide 30m3 of fresh, healthy filtered air every hour for every person in the building. The system is able to filter out pollutants, smoke and allergens to create a healthy indoor environment.


Efficient heating systems are used in combination with mechanical ventilation which uses a heat recovery system. In hot weather there is no need for reliance on air-conditioning. When compared to a standard building, there is a reduction of 90 percent energy use for heating and cooling.


Ultra-low energy use significantly reduces CO² emissions and provides a positive contribution to mitigating climate change. Each Passive House is built to incorporate characteristics that are optimised to the local climate, so the heating and cooling requirements are minimised. A Passive House building has structural longevity, due to the ultra-low risks of condensation within the building structure (and interiors).

Passive House in Australia

Although the concept started in Germany, the uptake in Australia is gaining momentum as an increasing number of astute homeowners see the immediate and long-term benefits.

The Passive House Standard has a general methodology that is used worldwide, whilst each project will have individual components that respond to the local climate.

To ensure that a home is built to this standard, a qualified Passive House Architect should be engaged at the very start of the project. Here at Archisoul, our senior architect and project leader, Carole Huard is a qualified Passive House Designer and Consultant.

Passive House FAQ

Passive House Design, Archisoul Architects

Request a consultation with our Passive House Designer

If you would like to learn more about Passive House Design and its sustainability, costs, processes, and what to expect, please contact us.