Passive House is a European standard of building design that achieves a 90% energy reduction for projects that comply and are certified by their energy modeling called “PHPP”.
Any building can be made to comply, from a one family house to a 500 unit apartment building and the standards, while rigorous, are quite simply based.
Basically you build a super insulated building envelope like a thermos or cooler and then make it air tight that way whatever heat or cooling you put in it stays in it. It’s like putting a balloon around a thermos – it creates a vacuum that prevents the transfer of heating or cooling by conduction or convection.
Air tightness does however present other issues and to accommodate for that fresh air is continuously pumped into the apartments by way of a ventilation system which uses an Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV). What that does is allow clean outdoor air to be filtered and brought in once it has captured the ambient air temperatures of the existing air and humidity in the building or apartment. Then the stale indoor air which has been stripped of its temperature and humidity is expelled to the outdoors.
These ERV give the clean fresh air Tomas talks about in the video below and makes for a far superior indoor environment than any other type of building HVAC system.
Tomas O’Leary of Passive House Academy on Bright ‘n Green