Passive House

Druck passive house institute used for sutter homes in the durango area

Sutter Homes and Passive House

As the international standard, Passive House sets the tone for the future of efficient construction. Founded in Germany, Passive House is the only internationally recognized, performance-based energy standard in construction.


Going above and beyond reducing energy needs, insulation requirements, and zero-netting homes, the Passive House standard is an internationally recognized symbol of quality, comfort, and energy efficiency. First developed in Germany, the Passive House standard is making itself internationally known.

With annual conferences and research groups, PH is ahead of the curve and leads the charge for new and improved “developments of construction concepts, building components, planning tools, and quality assurance for especially energy efficient buildings.”

Watch this video for a 90-second explanation of how Passive House.

passive-house-explained-in-90-seconds used for sutter homes in the durango area
Passivhaus_5principles Sutter homes environmental health

Passive House building use around 90% less heating energy than average buildings. To ensure this consistent quality, Passive House has 5 key principles:

  1. Insulation
  2. Passive House windows
  3. Ventilation with heat recovery
  4. Air tightness
  5. Thermal bridge free design

View the full International Passive House brochure here for more details.

Podcast: Passive House at a Glance

From The Building Science Podcast: “The PHIUS+ 2015 Passive Building Standard provides the climate -specific sweet spot where aggressive energy and carbon reduction overlap with cost effectiveness.” Curious? Listen for more.

The New Standard

Passive House has proven itself to be the new standard for efficient, high-performance, durable, and environmentally friendly buildings. Building homes to the Passive House standard is the way of the future.

If you’re curious to learn more about the science behind Passive House, visit the interactive book made for property developers, contractors, and clients.

Comfortable, Sustainable, Reliable

“Just as a vacuum flask keeps drinks at the desired temperature, the well-insulated envelope of a Passive House keeps indoor areas at a pleasant temperature. Passive Houses are characterized by consistent temperatures on all interior surfaces and constant indoor climates without temperature swings or droughts – during cold winter months as well as hot summer periods.

At the same time, a Passive House building’s superior ventilation system ensures ample fresh air at room temperature and makes for high indoor air quality.”

net positive homes built by sutter homes in the durango area
We are extremely pleased with our custom-built home by Sutter Homes. First and foremost, the energy efficiency of the home is exceptional. Last LPEA bill was $13.80 and the Atmos gas bill was $28. The Zehnder ComfoAir for air exchange works beautifully and makes for a very comfortable inside environment. At first there was a problem with condensation, which was remedied with an additional insulation sleeve. Our builder promptly took care of that issue. All in all, Mike was very accomodating in assisting us with changes and modifications in design and materials. We highly recommend Sutter Homes if you're looking for a quality home built with today's energy efficiency in mind.- Sandy F.
The first time I met Mike was at the job site of our future home that he built. It was very apparent to me that this construction was very different, and he proceeded to give me some information on his unique approach to energy efficiency and carbon footprint reduction living. I spent the next day on the internet and became convinced that the SHC vision was what my wife and I wanted. I have never lived in a house that did not have hot/cold zones but have been very pleased how the Zehnder ERV system “evens out” the “climate” in our house. In combination with the air filtration with this system and the use of zone based mini-splits, my wife and I are very happy with this very different experience as compared to our hydronic base board heating system from our former house. We regard ourselves as earth-friendly, and our current house from SHC fits our perspective—the fact that our utility bills are nearly non-existent doesn’t hurt either! We have taken our lot to a xeriscape point and would add this to the environmental reduction impact that appeals to us. Love the instant hot water!!- Gary S.
We love our home. We knew we wanted a builder that would be intentional and smart in the design, as well as make it beautiful. All the small details - the window quality, the insulation, the air filtration system, the layout - all of it added up, and now we have a home that will require very little maintenance over the years and has very low utility bills. Such a house made it possible for us to live in this beautiful city. Thanks for making that happen Sutter Homes!!- Summer
When Sutter Homes Co declares their homes being Net Zero, they really are. Their HERS ratings back up their claims. We were far more impressed with this home that exceeded any of our expectations.- Gary & Lorie S.
Zindher air filtration system replaces the homes air several times hourly with outside air, geothermally preheated and filtered through a HEPA filter to remove outside contaminants. Indoor air is maintained fresh and completely free of Radon buildup. If you have severe allergies or asthma this system would be tough to beat. The home has been built to exceed building construction requirements for many years to come.- Doug C.
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