The First Passive House

This terraced housing is the first Passive House building to be realised. The four terraced housing units, each with a living area of 156 m² and identical floor layouts, were built in the Kranichstein area of the City of Darmstadt and is an exactly south-facing solid construction with a full basement and large accommodation units, each of which extends over three storeys. These houses have been inhabited since 1991 by the same private clients who commissioned the architectural firm Bott/Ridder/Westermeyer with its planning in 1990.

50% of the additional construction costs for the project and its scientific evaluation were provided by the Hesse State Government. The objective of this research project first and foremost was to examine the extent to which energy consumption in residential buildings could be reduced through passive measures alone. After the evaluation of more than 16 years of monitoring, the building has met the expectations with regard to energy efficiency. Compared with average residential buildings in Germany, the measured heat consumption was reduced to approximately one-twentieth, and the total consumption of final energy for space heating, hot water and domestic electricity was reduced to roughly ten percent of the usual values.

Specifications about the project can be found in the Passive House database. Additionally, full project documentation of the project is available in the German language here.

1 / 3

View of the south-facing facade of the pioneer Passive House.