Some of that surge in interest can be traced to a December 2008 New York Times article that described Passive House as "part of a revolution in building design." While generally accurate, the story did stumble a bit coming out of the gate - it was titled "No Furnaces, but Heat Aplenty in ‘Passive Houses'" - since most cold-climate Passive Houses do in fact include a heat pump, small furnace, or some other supplementary heat source.
Tight budget. The core of the Passive House concept is a clearly defined standard that holds structures to a strict energy budget based on their floor area: They must use no more than 15 kwh per square meter per year for heating and cooling, and no more than 120 kwh per square meter for all uses, including lighting, appliance use, and hot water....
to read the full article.