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Building Performance
Passive House

Passive vs. Conventional Floor Planning + Passive House Sample Design - Self Study

Mike Duclos • Last updated 02/2021

4.4/5 (view ratings)
744 students
2 modules
1:00 hours
6 assignments

Course description

If you don't floor plan properly, you will fail. In this 1-hour lecture, Mike Duclos, Principal and Founder of DEAP Energy Group describes how passive floor planning differs from conventional floor planning. Mike provides a background on the Passive House movement, presents examples of Passive House designs and floor plans, and explains why floor planning is critical for cutting costs, energy efficiency, and meeting the rigorous Passive House criteria.

Passive House is justifiably regarded as the most energy efficient building standard in the world, as well as being the most challenging to meet. It seems that ‘every trick in the book,’ with some ‘inventions’ for good measure is often necessary to meet the challenging (and non-negotiable) Passive House Space Heat Demand and Primary Energy criteria. Thoughtful floor plan design can make the experience of living in the home much more enjoyable, reduce construction costs, and be a substantial asset in ‘making the numbers.’

This lecture covers:

  • Why orienting the long axis of the home to face South will save you money
  • Why plumbing layout impacts DHW quality of service, Primary Energy use, recovery, and the challenges to optimization and implementation
  • Some not-so-obvious reasons for orienting rooms with respect to the sun
  • Alternatives to the suggestions in the floor plan to adapt the implementation of the ‘physics’ to the aesthetics and desires of your clients
  • How to think ‘outside of the box’ with respect to floor planning


The Passive House Sample Design is an as-built for a floor plan created by Mike Duclos. Enroll and download it for free.

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Full course outline

Module 1 - Passive vs. Conventional Floor Planning

In this module, you'll review two Passive House floor plans, watch the lecture video, and download the presentation slides.

  • Lecture slides (.pdf)
  • Passive vs. Conventional Floor Planning with Mike Duclos (1 hour) (01:00:47 hours)
  • Passive House Floor Planning
Module 2 - Download the Passive House Sample Design

Download Mike Duclos' free Passive House Sample Design

  • Passive House Sample Design (.pdf)


Mike Duclos


Mike Duclos is a principal and founder of The DEAP Energy Group, LLC, a consultancy providing a wide variety of Deep Energy Retrofit, Zero Net Energy and Passive House related consulting services. Mike was an energy consultant on the Transformations, Inc. Zero Energy Challenge entry, and has worked on a variety of Zero Net Energy, DER and Passive House projects,... Learn more


67 reviews

744 students have taken this course

by bob bob 11/01/2022

Good general overview and understanding. Volume really low from the presenter, but worth the hassle to listen to.

by Gwendolen St.Sauveur 11/26/2020

Easy to follow, great pace, very much liked the PDF sample at the end. Thank-you.



by Betsy Ames, Operations Manager, Northeast Home Energy Rating System Alliance 06/09/2019

Really clear and easy to understand!

by Jeff Shuler 12/19/2018

This is an excellent first step into passive house standards. It provides a quick way to learn how passive house ideas can improve the way we build.

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Frequently asked questions

How does this course work?

This is a free course. Enroll today and get access to all of the materials instantly. The lecture video and other materials are available any time.

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For free courses there is no guarantee for how long the course materials will be available.

Is there a certificate of completion?

Certificates of completion are only provided to HeatSpring Membership subscribers. This course has not been approved by any credentialing organizations (NABCEP, AIA, USGBC etc) for Continuing Education Credits (CEUs). This course is for self education purposes only and completion does not indicate a level of professional expertise or credential.

Can I register multiple people?

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