A question we hear quite often is how does Net Zero differ from Passive House? Green Building
A Net Zero House:
Is designed to generate as much energy as it uses on an annual basis. Net Zero uses many Passive House design principals, however, will also use on-site renewables like solar panels which can be connected to local electric grids. This allows the home-owner to reduce the need for energy through the design/build process, as well as using renewables (like solar) to “net” out their draw from the electrical grid.
A Passive House:
Will focus on achieving the least amount of energy required to heat/cool a home by using “passive” strategies: Additional insulation, air-tightness, home design/aspect to take advantage of solar gain, eliminating thermal bridging.
Aim is to REDUCE the need for energy at the design/build phase without the use of on-site renewables like solar panels. A Passive House can use solar panels to make the home Net-Zero, however, is ultimately designed to avoid the need for them. By using those passive house design strategies, a home-owner can reduce heating and cooling needs by up to 90%! Truly remarkable.
(For a comprehensive description of Net-Zero Housing, click to see the Canadian Mortgage & Housing Corp’s “Net Zero” Page.)