One of the first discussions you’ll likely have with any curious client or interested colleague regarding Passive House is what the name is all about. This will more than likely cover off on the fact that ‘haus’ translates as ‘building’, and not simply as ‘house’. Or you might have to correct the notion that Passive House is not the same as Passive Solar design. They are important clarifications to make. It’s something that makes the choice between using ‘Passivhaus’ or ‘Passive House’ that little bit more difficult.
It’s proven to be a difficult choice internationally, one that has come up for consideration in many of the English-speaking countries using the standard – which one should we use? Is there something lost in translation? Is the German spelling off-putting for some people? There are some good discussions, and interesting feedback, here and here.
The general advice from the International Passive House Association is that the English spelling should be used (its in the name!). But there is something lost in translation, undoubtedly. It’s whether this is or is not a manageable risk.
What do you think? Does it matter? What is your preference? Do you use one or the other for certain audiences?