Passivhaus vs. LEED

There’s been a bit of confusion about LEED, one of the most well known sustainable building standards, and PassivHaus.  The first thing to understand is that these are not competing standards, as they target different areas of construction.  Simplified:

 

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is about how a house is built or remodeled, and how it is used.  Construction materials, energy efficiency, water conservation and other rating categories create a composite score that determine your final certification level.

PassivHaus is only concerned with the efficiency of the home, and has just a few requirements that must be met.

 

While a LEED-certified house will almost certainly be more efficient than a conventional house, efficiency is just one of many rating categories, and will be nowhere near the required efficiencies of PassivHaus.  Optimally, a home would exceed both LEED and PassivHaus standards.