Understanding the Difference between LEED, Net Zero, and Passive House

The many movements and trends that have revolutionized the modern living standards are defined by different properties and purposes. This article will discuss several of the more popular green building techniques used in both residential and commercial applications and will explain the differences between them.


Let’s start with LEED – Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a rating system that was developed by the USGBC (United States Green Building Council) in order to assess the environmental performance of buildings, homes, and other types of construction. This movement was initiated in order to increase the amount of sustainable building in America.

The LEED Points System

By using a point system, LEED will give points for positive considerations within the building’s design characteristics and will reward each aspect with a specific amount of points. LEED does not focus on final energy performance as part of the points system, and focus more on the materials used for the project. For final assessment, LEED has four levels of certification which is determined by the final amount of points that the project was given: Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum.

Fiberglass Windows for LEED Homes and Projects

Having fiberglass windows in a LEED project can bump up the points significantly. Although the u-values, air infiltration SHGC and other crucial ratings are not entirely considered, fiberglass windows are much more durable, environmental friendly and energy efficient than other frame materials such as vinyl aluminum and wood. Essentially, the windows used add points to the "Energy and Atmosphere" category of LEED's point system. Fibertec’s fiberglass LEED windows are Energy Star rated as well, making them recognized by the leading organizations in America for energy efficient products.

Net Zero Building

The concept of Net Zero Energy building is one that is based on producing as much energy as one consumes over the course of a year. The goal of this type of Green Building is to minimize the amount of energy used by using energy efficient products and a sustainable infrastructure. Net Zero Building is fairly new and is still building its platform, but the concept differs from LEED due to the fact that the assessment is done by measuring the amount of renewable energy overtime rather than giving points to systems that may work, but in the long run will not provide the same amount of energy savings overtime.

Fiberglass Windows with Net Zero Energy Buildings

It has been proven that fiberglass windows have helped save homeowners money even from the first several months post installation. Fibertec’s fiberglass windows have some of the top energy ratings in the industry and u-values as low as 0.13, being a great option for net zero energy building.

Passive House Construction

Passive house is one of the most demanding organizations that are used for Green Building, but are also the most successful at achieving energy efficient living standards. Passive House standards focus on achieving energy efficiency while lowering the use of energy consumption from day to day use. The regulations and standards of building a Passive House are based on insulation values, the use of sunlight, and an airtight infrastructure in order to maintain a steady temperature within a home throughout the year.

Fiberglass windows can contribute greatly to the performance of a Passive Home when installed properly. By combining high performance fiberglass windows with low insulating values can increase the passive solar gain while limiting cooling when necessary. Fibertec has contributed to all three of the mentioned building methods because fiberglass windows contribute to each technique in different ways, according to the demands and standards of each type of building technique. Choose the method according to the goal you are trying to achieve for yourself and for your home.

See Some of Our Green Building Project Highlights Here