What Is a Passive House?
In May 1988, Wolfgang Feist, a physicist from the Institut für Wohnen und Umwelt (Institute for Living and Environment) in Germany, and Bo Adamson, a engineer from Lund University in Sweden had a discussion and asked whether buildings could be designed in a more sustainable, energy efficient way. Thus they began working to apply engineering technology and the principles of physics towards constructing a healthier, more comfortable and energy-efficient built environment. In 1991 the first “Passive House,” four row houses, designed by architects Bott, Ridder and Westermeyer, was completed in Darmstadt, Germany. The homes are performing up to specifications to this day. In September 1996, the Passivhaus-Institut (Passive House Institute) was founded by Feist to promote and control the standard.
Passive House has become an internationally acknowledged norm for energy efficient buildings. It is a practical – verifiable – open approach that can serve as a model for the growing future of environmentally friendly construction combining energy efficiency and sustainability with optimal comfort, affordability and healthful indoor air quality. Research shows that a Passive House can deliver a more than 90% reduction in space heating and cooling energy use compared to the energy consumption in “old buildings” as well as higher performance in comparison to energy-saving building codes such as Energy Star.
Passive House sets a voluntary global energy-conservation standard for residential homes and commercial buildings achievable in any climate without specifying a construction method or style. With its focus on a well-insulated building envelope and an emphasis on comfort and indoor air quality, Passive House demands superior construction skill and craft. Although Passivhaus-Institut certified buildings must meet specific energy demand targets, designers, developers and builders are free to choose construction methods, materials and aesthetics that best meet their needs, regional customs and the requirements of their clients.
If it costs less to construct and uses less energy, why not live in a VOLKsHouse?
Wolfgang Feist

Passive House Community, Darmstadt, German
VOLKsHouse 2, Elevation, 2014
VOLKsHouse 2, Interior, 2014