The reduction of anthropogenic green house gas emissions through increased building energy efficiency is a global effort, which is a responsibility of both developed and developing nations. The Passive House concept is a building design methodology that advocates for a systematic optimization and integration of the building envelope and internal loads in order to achieve a passive yet comfortable performance. Multiple passive houses have been built and monitored in Europe and the United States. The present paper attempts to determine what design features are required for tropical residential buildings to meet the Passive House Standard. This study was conducted in El Salvador, which experiences a warm and humid climate throughout the year. For economic and cultural reasons, few residential buildings in the country have air conditioning systems. However, the vast majority of residential buildings have not been designed using passive principles, causing great occupant discomfort and increasing energy consumption for cooling. Both the Passive House Planning Package (PHPP) software and EnergyPlus were used in order to determine the design parameters that would yield a passive house for this climate. In addition, the paper discusses the technical and economic feasibility of modifying a typical house to meet the standard. The potential benefits related to occupant comfort and energy cost savings are also discussed.

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