For a quick look into Passive House (Passivhaus in German) criteria and design strategies, take a look at Passive House on Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia. The article has diagrams, a history of Passive House and the standards for creating a building that requires 1 BTU/square foot/degree day.
Passive House buildings use 75% - 95% less energy for space heating and cooling than new buildings that meet current US energy efficiency codes. This summer Rob and Matt both took the Passive House Consultant Training course. We are excited to put these standards into practice.