Passive house (Passivhaus) is a rigorous, voluntary standard for energy efficiency in a building which reduces its ecological footprint, energy use and associated energy costs. It results in ultra-low energy buildings that require little energy for space heating or cooling. The standard is not confined to residential properties; several office buildings, schools, kindergartens and a supermarket have also been constructed to the standard. Passive design is not an attachment or supplement to architectural design, but a design process that is integrated with architectural design. Although it is mostly applied to new buildings, it has also been used for refurbishments. As of August 2010, there were approximately 25,000 such certified structures of all types in Europe. The vast majority of passive structures have been built in German-speaking countries and Scandinavia. In Ireland a number of local authorities are considering making Passive House the design standard for new house construction.
Kane Architects are currently involved in a number of Passive House projects. Progress of these projects will be updated on this site in due course.