Passive House



A Passive House is a performance standard that is solely based on the building’s performance and can be achieved with any construction system, in any building type, and in any location. It is a high-performance standard that is energy-efficient, healthy, comfortable, economically affordable, and sustainable. Therefore, any building can be designed and constructed with Passive House principles and requirements, and consequently achieve high-performance levels.

The main principles for a building to be a Passive House are:

• Ensuring adequate levels of building envelope insulation;
• Having Passive House windows and doors;
• Ensuring proper shading;
• Having a heat recovery ventilation system;
• Ensuring airtightness of the building envelope;
• Avoiding thermal bridges in the building envelope.

A Passive House contribui para o bem-estar e saúde dos seus ocupantes já que o seu ambiente interior é caracterizado pela boa qualidade do ar, conforto térmico (temperatura mín. 20ºC e máx. 25ºC) e inexistência de grandes variações térmicas. Trata-se de edifícios saudáveis que respeitam os princípios da física dos edifícios evitando patologias e otimizando o desempenho.
O padrão Passive House é o mais elevado padrão de eficiência energética mundial com poupanças energéticas que podem atingir os 75% em comparação com os edifícios convencionais. É uma solução que corresponde inteiramente à definição do NZEB – Nearly Zero Energy Building (edifício com necessidades quase nulas de energia). É acessível, pois pode ser construída ao mesmo preço que um edifício convencional, sendo os custos de operação substancialmente mais baixos que num edifício convencional (reduzidas necessidades energéticas e de manutenção). Numa Passive House há uma redução drástica das emissões de CO2, devido à eficiência energética, por isso contribui para a proteção climática (menor dependência de combustíveis fósseis). As baixas necessidades energéticas de uma Passive House podem ser facilmente supridas por fontes renováveis de energia.

To have a Passive House building, you’ll need a project that allows you to achieve Passive House performance, meaning a project that meets the technical requirements of a Passive House. Subsequently, you should have qualified resources on site to ensure the project’s compliance with the Passive House requirements. However, please note that meeting the technical requirements ensures Passive House performance but not certification.

To have a Passive House project, you will need to have an architect or consultant working on the project who is a Certified Passive House Designer or Consultant. They will be qualified to develop an architectural project that is designed from the ground up with Passive House principles.

Not necessarily. It’s important to understand that ‘Passive House’ is a concept rather than a construction method, which means it can be adapted to any type of building. As long as the project is thought out from the beginning in a holistic way, building a Passive House can have a similar or even lower cost than a conventional building. It’s essential to consider all the calculations… Passive House buildings require about 90% less heating energy than conventional buildings, which means significant annual savings. So, don’t forget to do all the calculations, both for construction and maintenance costs.

Yes, but it will depend a lot on the existing project since no changes can be made to the design. Compliance with the Passive House standard will be achieved exclusively through the definition of construction components, systems, and equipment. This approach will never be the optimal cost-benefit situation.

No. The Passive House standard can be applied to any type of building, including residential, cultural, religious, tourist, and service buildings. In short, it can be applied to any new or existing building undergoing renovation.

Through the PHPP (Passive House Planning Package) software, which is a building performance simulation tool validated by ASHRAE (ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 140-2017).

Passive House Certification

To obtain Passive House certification, the building must meet the technical requirements and apply for certification through a Portuguese or international certifying entity, known as a Passive House Certifier for Buildings. In Portugal, there is HomeGrid, which can assess and certify Passive House buildings, but you can also search for other companies at

No, a certified Passive House must always have the mandatory energy certification according to national legislation.

No, what you must have is a project whose energy balance is determined by the PHPP and meets the requirements of the Passive House standard. The construction of the building must follow what is stipulated in the project, and then you should request certification from a Passive House Certifier for Buildings.

There are thousands of certified Passive House buildings around the world, and you can find them in the Passive House Institute’s database. However, many buildings achieve Passive House performance but are not certified, and these are more challenging to identify.

They are approaches with different focuses and methodologies, so they are complementary rather than competitive. The first Passive House-certified buildings in Portugal achieved the highest classes in the LiderA certification.


It is the same as the licensing process for any other building.

No. Compliance with national regulations must always be ensured in any building. In the case of a Passive House, you can and should use the calculations, dimensions, and solutions defined in the PHPP to justify compliance with national regulations.

No. A certified Passive House must always have the mandatory energy certificate required by national legislation.

Passive House Network

In the PassivHaus Institut database and the PassivHaus Portugal Association, you can find all the solutions and components for Portugal and beyond.

Passive House Network

No. However, there may be some tax benefits in Property Tax and Transaction Tax.

No, there is a trend in the banking sector to support projects with a strong sustainability component and a focus on energy efficiency. However, there is no legal obligation to do so, so you should consult your bank and conduct market research.

Yes, there are several reductions and even exemptions related to IMI (Municipal Property Tax) and IMT (Municipal Property Transfer Tax). You can request more information from your Passivhaus technician or consult the Tax Authority’s website.

font: Associação Passivhaus Portugal