This article reviews the design approaches and technologies that have been used to reduce the energy requirements of new buildings by a factor of 2 to 4 compared to the energy use of otherwise comparable recent new buildings or that have been used to achieve comparable savings in retrofits of existing buildings. This is followed by a critical discussion of documented studies of the energy performance of new and retrofitted buildings from around the world, along with cost information where-ever available. The additional costs of meeting the Passive Standard for heating loads in new buildings, which represents a factor of 5 to 10 reduction of heating load compared to current standard practice, have ranged from 0% to 16% of the construction costs of reference buildings. High-performance commercial buildings, with overall energy intensities of 25–50% that of recent conventional buildings, have been built at less cost, or only at a few percent more cost, than conventional buildings.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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