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High Performing Buildings Do Not Cost More

Updated: Apr 26, 2020

Don't take our word for it. The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) says so. And their business is to fund affordable housing projects that not only design for high performance but deliver it. The PHFA algorithm for awarding low-income housing tax credits includes 10 points, if developers commit to meeting Passive House standards. As you can see in the chart, after one year of learning, Passive House projects are now at par or slightly below the cost of traditional buildings. It's no longer reasonable to tell an owner or developer that it costs more to building a higher performing building. It simply takes thoughtful planning, experience and a commitment from the project team.

Passive House building science was created to reduce the ecological footprint of a building. The objective of Passive House has always been to deliver ultra-low energy consumption, however, in an ironic twist of fate, Passive House creates the perfect environment for ultra-high indoor air quality.

Passive House certified buildings typically use 60-80% less energy than traditionally built structures. Often developers certifying Passive House will pursue RESET Air certification. RESET Air is sets the most rigorous targets for indoor air quality ensuring that buildings contribute positively to occupant health and productivity.

PHFA has it quite right in their allotment of funding to projects pursuing Passive House certification. Passive House + RESET Air creates the ultimate triple bottom line: very low utility costs for occupants, higher asset values for owners/developers, and indoor air quality that supports health and productivity for residents and staff.


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