Multi-family Passive House

Build a Passive House

Benefits of a Passive House

A Passive House produces very low operating emissions relative to standard buildings and creates:

  • High air quality levels
  • Even temperature distribution
  • Low noise levels 
  • Reduced costs for heating and cooling

How to get Passive House certification

Passive House certification is a quality assurance process that determines whether a project meets all of the requirements of the Passive House standard. It confirms that the building has been designed to achieve high levels of occupant comfort and energy performance.

The primary criteria for achieving Passive House certification:

  • Space Heat Demand: Maximum 15 kWh/m²a or heating load maximum 10 W/m²
  • Pressurization Test Result: Maximum 0.6 ACH @ 50 Pa (pressurizing and depressurizing)
  • Total Primary Energy Renewable (PER): Maximum 60 kWh/m²a

Learn more about the Passive House standard and the certification process .

All rezoning applications submitted after May 1st, 2017, will be required to meet near zero or low emissions buildings. This requirement can be met by constructing to the Passive House standard.

Read more details in the Green Buildings Policy for Rezoning - Process and Requirements Bulletin  (360 KB).

Removing regulatory barriers

We are continually working to remove barriers within the regulatory framework to facilitate Certified Passive House designs. 

Applicants are required to meet the Passive House standard and successfully certify the project as a Certified Passive House in order to be eligible for related relaxations.

Single-family residential

Other building types

What is a Passive House?

A Passive House is a well-established, ultra-low energy building performance standard and certification process that is applicable to nearly every building type, including retrofits of existing buildings.

It was originally developed in Germany by the Passive House Institute.

The buildings have:

  • A thick layer of insulation
  • High performance windows and doors
  • An airtight envelope
  • Mechanical ventilation with filters that supply fresh air in and exhaust stale air out

The Passive House standard: 

Passive Design Toolkit

Passive home guidelines

This toolkit outlines passive design practices fundamental to achieving the Passive House standard criteria in Vancouver.

Guidelines and resources

Passive House guidelines for RS-1

A detailed description of the application process and associated requirements for a single-family dwelling.

Green Buildings

Our goal is to lead the world in green building design and construction. Learn more about our Greenest City goal: Green Buildings.

Green building, renovating, and landscaping resources

Find green home renovation guides to help you create a home that is healthy, saves you money, and is easy on the environment.

Online resources, training, and case studies

Passive House standard

Resources and training

Case studies

Passive House guidelines for RS-1