Minneapolis Sustainability

350 S. 5th Street, Room 315M
Minneapolis, MN 55415
[email protected]neapolismn.gov

The Passive House Standard

The sustainability office encourages developers, existing and new home owners to consider building a passive house.  The attributes and benefits of the home far outweigh the additional costs.  Read more and see why a passive home may be the right choice!

Upcoming Events

Certified Passive House Tradesperson (CPHT) Training with Passive House Minnesota, March 2019.

What is a Passive House?

Passive House Explained in 90 Seconds” by Hans-Jörn Eich

Passive House in Minnesota 3Passive House in Minnesota 2Passive House in Minnesota

Passive House Standard: 5 main principles

Benefits of Passive House

Three reasons to consider the Passive House standard


The Passive House Standard would be meaningless without its focus on inhabitant comfort. Strict thermal comfort criteria are met through a consistent and rigorous methodology, maintaining a year-round, high quality indoor environment. 

Climate Change

The City of Minneapolis is committed to building resilience in response to the challenges presented by Climate Change. Energy use in commercial and residential buildings (primarily from heating and cooling) was the largest source of GHG emissions in the City at 3.3 million MTCO2e in 2010, representing 65 percent of the total.  The Passive House Standard offers a clear path to a reduction in carbon emissions from buildings.


The Passive House Standard results in high-performance buildings with lower maintenance costs and increased durability.

Passive House Certification

Primary Criteria

Certification Process

Approach 1: Design and certification

Design and certification involves an initial review of the design of the project, even before a permit application is submitted.  A report would be issued, highlighting any potential issues that might put certification at risk. If a completed project meets all the requirements, a certificate is issued.

Approach 2: Streamlined certification

Streamlined certification doesn’t involve a consultation and review of designs before a project is built, and only includes the review of a completed project.  This method, which can reduce the cost of certification, is only recommended for experienced practitioners.  

Retrofitting existing buildings

Retrofitting older buildings to reach the Passive House Standard is often quite difficult due to the strict criteria for certification. The EnerPHit program, introduced by the Passive House Institute, allows for updating the most relevant parts of a building with Passive House components. 

Learn more

Additional resources


Passive House Minnesota

Passive House Institute

Pathways to Zero


Certified Passive House Tradesperson (CPHT) Training with Passive House Minnesota, March 2019.

Local examples

Hook and Ladder multifamily apartments

Currently under construction in Northeast Minneapolis, the Hook and Ladder apartments consist of two buildings.  One will be built to Passive House standards, and the other to current Green Communities requirements.  This is intended to provide a long-term side by side cost comparison between the two methods of construction.

Net zero energy retrofit

This Victorian Minneapolis home’s retrofit, completed late 2016, has resulted in a net positive outcome, where the home produces more energy than it uses.

Das Waldsee Biohaus

The first certified Passive House in North America is located right here in Minnesota.

The Passive House in the Woods

Wisconsin’s first certified Passive House is located just across the St. Croix River in Hudson.

Last updated May 14, 2019



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