Passive design building

passive-home-designPassive design is a building approach that reduces reliance on mechanical systems for heating, cooling, and lighting.

This is achieved by harnessing naturally occurring phenomena, such as the power of the sun, direction of wind, and other climatic effects to maintain consistent indoor temperatures and comfort.

Benefits of passive design

By leveraging the natural environment, buildings that incorporate passive design can:

  • Help reduce, or even eliminate, energy bills
  • Improve the comfort and quality of your interior environment
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with heating, cooling, mechanical ventilation, and lighting
  • Reduce the need for mechanical systems, thereby reducing the resources required to manufacture them
  • Make alternative energy systems viable

Compare the cost of building a house that meets Certified Passive House standard with one that meets the minimum energy performance of Vancouver Building Bylaw:

Passive design toolkit

The City has created a passive design toolkit that addresses the specific needs of Vancouver, and outlines what "passive" means for Vancouver.

The toolkit will help us create a more sustainable architecture form across Vancouver while improving the comfort of the people who live and work in new buildings.

Download the toolkit

Removing barriers to passive houses in Vancouver

To remove barriers to achieving the Certified Passive House standard in homes, the City has recently :

  • Made amendments to the Zoning and Development Bylaw in the RS-1 District Schedule to allow conditional height and rear yard relaxations
  • Developed the Passive House Guidelines for RS-1 to inform you on the relaxations, and associated requirements to achieve these relaxations

Download the Passive House Guidelines for RS-1 PDF file (1.8 MB)