I updated the “How does a Passive House work” page on the right hand side today. For your convenience, I posted the new contents below the break. As always, you can just click on the page in the right hand navigation column.
A house is already warm inside going from summer into fall and winter. Passive House is a conservation first approach, minimizing heat-losses and maximizing heat-gains.
The Passive House envelope minimizes heat-loss through insulation, air-tight construction, advanced windows & doors, and heat-recovery ventilation, therefore retaining space conditioning energy very effectively. It maximizes passive solar heat gains and combines them with internal heat gains from people and appliances, as well as a tiny backup system for peak heat-load demand to create a balance between heat-losses and heat-gains.
Renewable energy resources can be used as an option to get to zero site energy, or carbon-neutral operation, as well as net-positive operation (the building makes more energy than it consumes).