We had a presentation by a local construction company (Pheasant Hill Homes) who build passive homes, but what is a passive house?
I am going to quote Wikipedia which defines a passive house as:
"Passive house is a rigorous, voluntary standard for energy efficiency in a building, which reduces the building's ecological footprint. It results in ultra-low energy buildings that require little energy for space heating or cooling. A similar standard, MINERGIE-P, is used in Switzerland."
So what this really means is that a home built to Passive House standards requires the least amount of energy to heat it and it retains the heat. This effectively requires the home to be more or less air tight with abundant insulation, triple glazed windows and with a HRV (heat recovery ventillation) system.