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PH Real Estate | Marketing Passive House

March 9, 2021 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

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How to market a Passive House by John Oppermann


Many in the Passive House industry would like to build demand and overall awareness of Passive House but have found it difficult to communicate to the average person why they should be interested in a Passive House structure. Various obstacles also exist in terms of the communication filters through which messaging has to be communicated (e.g., real estate brokers or the general real estate industry media that might not always be well versed in Passive House design).

During this session, we’ll explore the multiple angles through which we could better market Passive House to the broader public and thus raise the overall demand for Passive House structures. Looking beyond the typical frameworks through which Passive House is marketed (e.g., sustainability and energy savings), we’ll explore the plethora of benefits that a Passive House might offer its occupants and how we can make marketing messages better resonate along these lines. These include three broad categories of benefits: wellness, economics, and environmental sustainability.

  • This session will draw on a course John Oppermann has taught at New York University called Marketing Green Homes, which looked at other industries such as sustainable food and sustainable fashion, as well as broader climate change communication best practices, for lessons we can apply to the building industry.
  • Intended audience: architects, designers, developers, contractors or anyone involved in the green building field who would like to better communicate with their clients and their communities the benefits of Passive House design.
  • The session will include a general presentation on the topic followed by an open discussion where attendees will be encouraged to share their own experiences of challenges and successes in communicating the benefits of Passive House.

Message from the John Oppermann:

Through my work at Earth Day Initiative and our green building publication and my work as a real estate broker focused on green/healthy real estate I have explored how to better communicate green/healthy homes and their advantages to the broader public. Our green buildings publication, like the broader green building industry, has often focused on industry-to-industry communications with a lot of technical jargon going over the average person’s head. There are countless missed opportunities as green homes are marketed as “green homes” but don’t go into much detail on all of the ways that living in a greener/healthier home benefits a homeowner. I have therefore focused on how we can communicate the advantages of green homes to the average person so that we can elevate the overall demand for green/healthy homes (Passive House, LEED, WELL, etc.)

I explored these issues in a classroom setting teaching a course called Marketing Green Homes to environmental studies majors this past spring at NYU. Through the course, we developed various avenues of messaging including focusing on health/wellness, economics, and environmental sustainability. We explored the ways that we can simplify language to resonate with various demographics of people including young parents, retirees, environmentalists, health enthusiasts, etc.

Specifically for Passive House, there are numerous avenues to market such homes to people that go beyond the environmental impact of such homes. Whether talking about thermal comfort, indoor air quality, sound proofing, cost savings, increased value, or resilience, we can take a marketing and advertising mindset to look at what will resonate with regular people in simple and easy-to-understand messaging.


March 9, 2021
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm


New York Passive House (NYPH)