Are you familiar with the term ‘Passiv Haus’? Whether or not you are, you have probably already seen it in some places on the website of the off site construction firm STREIF. The phrase basically refers to a standard for a building’s energy efficiency. The standard is intended to enhance this efficiency and so shrink the building’s ecological footprint.

STREIF has been responsible for many German timber frame buildings that fall into the category of Passiv Haus – and, indeed, can be responsible for many future timber homes of this category. However, before you read further about homes of this type that we can have built, we think that you could enjoy reading a concise and easy-to-digest version of the history of Passiv Haus.

The genesis of a popular eco building concept

The origin of the Passiv Haus standard can be traced back to May 1988 and, to be more exact, a conversation that took place then between Bo Adamson, who worked at Lund University in Sweden, and Wolfgang Feist, who was employed by Germany’s Institute for Housing and the Environment. The development of the Passiv Haus concept – encouraged by financial help from Hessen, a state that was located fairly centrally in the country that was then widely known as West Germany – progressed due to research projects.

Eco building in various countries

The first Passiv Haus residences were built in the German city of Darmstadt in 1990, the same year that the countries often called West Germany and East Germany were reunited to form the modern state of Germany. The residences became occupied the next year. September 1996 saw the formation of the Passivhaus-Institut for the effective promotion and maintenance of the Passiv Haus building program.

There has since been the construction of thousands of Passiv Haus structures – largely in Germany, where the off site manufacturing firm STREIF was first established many decades ago, and nearby Austria. There are other such structures in various other countries globally – and we at STREIF have the expertise to provide even more!

Passiv Haus houses today

How many Passiv Haus houses exist on the planet today? Many estimates have fallen in the range of 15,000 to 20,000. Whatever the number, it seems likely to only rise over the coming years. One sign of this is that even the relatively little-known Western Asia country of Qatar has been reported to be set to have a Passiv Haus house for the first time.