What is the difference between Passive House, Low Consumption House, Almost Zero Consumption House or Net Zero Energy Building House?

What is a Passive House? and Low Consumption House?

What is a House of almost zero consumption or House Net zero?

Here we show you the differences.

In case you still don’t know us, let me introduce our studio: we’re ERA architects, the English speaking green architecture studio to call in Barcelona.
Actually, I’m Esther Rovira, an architect in Barcelona and a passive house designer for new sustainable builds and big green renovations in Barcelona and Catalonia.
In this post you’ll find all the essentials from our professional point of view.
I hope this helps you!


What is a Passive House?

Passive house is a house that meets the standards of the Passivhaus Institute:

  • air conditioning demand <15kWh/m2a or air conditioning load <10W/m2
  • primary load in electricity of 120kWh/m2a
  • airtight housing (no leaks)
  • air renewal 0.33Wh/m3k
  • relative humidity less than 80%

This means that the house has a temperature throughout the year between 20 and 26ºC thanks to solar gains in winter, its insulated envelope, without leaks or thermal bridges, and good sun protection in summer.


What is a low energy house?

It is a house that consumes little energy. The Passive House Institute defines low-consumption houses when they meet all the above requirements except the airtightness value that ensures there are no air infiltrations (n50<0.6)


What is a Nearly Zero Consumption House or Net Zero House (nZEB)?

An almost zero consumption house or Net Zero House is one that is self-sufficient in renewable energy.
In other words, the energy it consumes is equal to or less than the energy it produces in a renewable way (or failing that, less than the renewable energy it buys).
Energy can be measured according to the cost in € of consumption/generation, in ppms of CO2, in the amount of energy contracted per year (kW/a) or in primary energy consumption (kWh/m2a)
The criteria to quantify the sustainability of the nZEB building are diverse and not very specific.
They work for large buildings but for a house they fall somewhat short to evaluate the level of comfort.


Our professional recommendation:

In our Architecture studio in Barcelona, ​​we recommend building houses with maximum levels of comfort following the passive house criteria defined by the Passive House Institute.


You may also be interested in other related posts:

Efficient houses and price in Barcelona
Passive House and price in Barcelona
Wood houses and price in Barcelona

You can also view efficient and passive houses to compare their price using the CasaAPP configurator (be patient, the WEB configurator takes 3 minutes to load, if it doesn’t load, you need a more powerful computer) or also on Google Play (only for Android tablets).


Hope this is helpful!
Best of luck on this adventure.
See you on the next post,


Founder of ERA architects 

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