Passive House Retrofit Overview - Homes Across America Search Return

Passive House Retrofit









(This house reported 18 resource efficient features.
Percentages above indicate the distribution of features and total 100%)


  • To bring an existing Craftsman bungalow up to a high standard of quality and efficiency by applying the Passivhaus (Passive House) principles, popular in Europe.
  • To demonstrate that the principles can be successfully applied to meet the Passive House standard in the mild California climate.
  • To demonstrate a method of dramatically reducing greenhouse gas emissions from a home.
Passive House Retrofit


  • Location: Berkeley, California
  • Climate Zone: Marine
  • Type of Project: Renovation
  • Home Completed: 2008
  • Setting: urban
  • Energy Source: - grid electric
  • Layout: Single-Family; 4 bedroom; Attached garage
  • Lot Size: 4554 sqft
  • Square Footage: 1515
  • Sales Market: Middle-income
  • Cost/Square Foot: Unknown


Nabih Tahan, Architect

- Designer - Homeowner

Phone: (510) 848-5311
Email: nabihtahan@sbcglobal.net

Nabih would like to share his experience in Passive House construction to assist anyone who feels that we can improve our systems so that we can reach our global goals of protecting our local environment and planet.


This home was retrofitted to meet the Passive House standards. Passive Houses eliminate air flow (or loss) through the building envelope reducing the energy needed for heating or cooling. These homes are called "Passive House" because passive heat inputs, such as solar intake and heat emissions of appliances and occupants, keep the building at comfortable indoor temperatures throughout the heating period making a conventional heating or cooling system unnecessary.

This home is one step towards the goal of the homeowner/architect to achieve a dramatic reduction in the greenhouse gas emissions of the Building Sector. Mr. Tahan plans to prefabricate passive houses for construction in the US.

Energy Recovery Ventilator and hot water heater

OVE framing and cellulose insulation

This showcase is for educational and informational purposes. It is meant to provide ideas and contacts for further assistance. We do not endorse particular products or services. It is the responsibility of the user to check references and facts prior to making use of the information.

The contents of this website are public information and may not be copyrighted in any form, sold or used for profit in any way. The information within the showcase may only be printed when this notice is included and credit is given to the Peaks to Prairies Pollution Prevention Information Center and the individuals cited in each home profile.