Passive House Windows

What is Passive House?

Passive House is a quickly emerging standard that requires buildings to use an extremely small amount of energy for their heating and cooling needs. This method was first developed in Germany and has since spread throughout Europe and North America. Passive Houses are very well-insulated and virtually airtight. These buildings require extremely low amounts of energy for heating and cooling. Heating requirements are primarily satisfied through passive solar gain and the energy produced by people and electrical equipment. The Passive House method of construction has the potential to dramatically reduce society’s energy consumption, and therefore radically reduce our carbon emissions.

For more information about the Passive House standard, see the Passive House Institute US (PHIUS).   PHIUS offers trainings and building certifications.  To get involved with the Passive House community, get in touch with your local chapter of the the Passive House Alliance US (PHAUS).   Zola is a proud sponsor of the Passive House Alliance US.    




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Passive House Benefits:

  • Extremely energy efficient, using up to 90% less energy for heating/cooling than conventional buildings
  • Very comfortable due to more uniform interior temperatures
  • Increasingly popular with proven results: over 15,000 Passive House buildings (including single family and multi-family houses, schools, and office buildings) have been built in Europe already with many projects in the U.S. already completed 
  • Outstanding indoor air quality due to a continuous supply of fresh air 
  • Reduced carbon footprint through reduced energy consumption 


What is a Passive House window? 


Most energy-conserving windows fall into the catagory of double glazed windows. Zola’s passive house windows have three panes of glass, significantly increasing the insulating power. High performance passive house windows, such as Zola Windows, are a key ingredient in this revolutionary approach to sustainable design.  Passive Houses must be extremely air-tight and well-insulated, and it is impossible to achieve this in a building without extremely well crafted windows.  

Passive House windows are:

  • Airtight
  • Highly insulating
  • Available with high SHGC glass  




Which Zola window is right for your Passive House project?  

Triple glazed windows are an essential component of Passive House projects.  We suggest you consider the following triple-glazed Zola Passive House windows for your Passive House building:



The top-of-the-line for uncompromising performance, the ZNC features concealed hinges standard and is available with state-of-the-art quad glazing, making this window suitable for even the most challenging climates.  Boasting an overall U value of 0.09 (R 11) with quad glazing, this window is positioned to be the industry leader.  

ThermoPlus Clad™


With an overall U value of 0.123 (R 8.1), this window offers outstanding Passive House window performance and sleek styling.  Our ThermoPlus Clad line features aluminum cladding for reduced maintenace and patented, German-engineered Purenit™ as a thermal break.  Recessed aluminum cladding allows for approximately one inch of overinsulation.  Interior wood can be finished in a variety of stains or solid colors.

Thermo Wood™


A precision-crafted, all-wood window with aluminum rain guards for increased durabilty.  With an overall U value of 0.14 (R 7), performance is slightly less than the ThermoPlus Clad™ line (with a more affordable price to match), but the entire outer frame of our Thermo Wood™ Passive House windows can be overinsulated for enhanced performance.  Periodic refinishing of the exterior wood will be necessary over the life of the window, although we factory finish with the most durable, weather-resistant paints on the market.      

Thermo uPVC™


The go to Passive House window for projects on a budget.  Our Thermo uPVC offers outstanding performance (U=0.14/R 7) and low maintenance at a price that can’t be beat.  





*We specialize in Passive House windows and doors.  However, if you are not aiming for such high energy performance, we also have more affordable, double-glazed options that still outperform many so-called high performance windows on the market (our double glazed options include Classic Clad, Classic Wood and our very affordable double-glazed uPVC).  For a performance overview, check out this chart.   


An Interview of Zola Founder, Florian Speier, by Katrin Klingenberg, Executive Director- Passive House Institute US

"Zola provides an excellent product and support for the Passive House Community. The best part, they make a daunting process simple. Love the support after installation, this is a sign of a sure winner."

Rick Milburn, Passiv Works

"We have had a terrific experience with Zola Windows. Our latest Passive House project in Santa Fe, NM called for custom color on all windows with one picture window being exceptionally large. The windows arrived on time, on budget and the client loves the color! We highly recommend Zola's on-site service call. Zola sent an technician and with his expertise the windows and exterior doors were set quickly and passed the Blower Door Test with a 0.4 @ 50 Pascal. We highly recommend the product and the company and look forward to working with them more in the future. In our opinion, the price and performance are unbeatable."

Vahid Mojarrab, Wamo Studio

"We used the Zola ThermoPlus Clad line, because it offers the best performance to price ratio, and the clients love real wood windows. You can see the European craftsmanship, feel how solid they are, and their triple gaskets provide excellent air tightness."

Joaquin Karcher, Zero E Design
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