We spend lots of money heating and cooling buildings when we can be designing buildings to naturally regulate their temperatures. This form of heating is known as passive heating (or cooling) because it requires no outside input to work.
Old buildings generally do this and were designed with environmental regulation in mind, today we are seeing a resurgence of smart building.
The Passive House concept, which is well established in Europe, is now getting a foothold in the U.S. with a method that promises overall energy savings of about 70 percent overall and a 90 percent lower heating load without on-site solar power.
While the U.S. Green Building’s Council’s LEED certification touches on energy, water, materials, and location, Passive House, which started in Germany as Passivhaus, brings rigorous requirements focused entirely on building energy efficiency. Because of that focus on lowering building energy demand, some say it yields better performance than LEED on efficiency.