Toronto Laneway Suite kitchen and main living area

Prefab Houses vs. Passive House Kits

Convenience and savings of a kit combined with the energy efficiency of Passive House

At EkoBuilt, we have taken our passion for home building and applied it to the PassiveHouse concept, creating quality Passive House kits that are supremely affordable.

Unlike a true prefab house, which comes straight from the factory ready for final assembly, our kits provide quality materials and the option to be as involved as you like in the build.

Many folks like that we can source many lumber components locally — better on cost and for the environment.

For anyone wanting a prefab wall assembly, we can accommodate this request; it will simply add to the cost of the total project.

We think you’ll find that the quality and energy efficiency that can be achieved by building on-site far outweighs the apparent convenience of a fully pre-fabricated house, but we’re always happy to talk about your specific situation.

Our proprietary passive house kit and system is certifiable by the International Passivehouse Association (IPHA) anywhere in North America.

Blazing star plan
EkoBuilt’s Passive House Plans: plans and weathertight materials kit available


We see more than a few problems with the prefab approach to home building:

  1. Transport – large prefab walls require multiple large trucks, adding cost to the bottom line
  2. Site access – large trucks often can’t access building sites, requiring additional vehicles and steps at increased cost
  3. Build integrity – insulation in prefab walls requires perfect weather conditions during transport and assembly
  4. Assembly & foundation issues – prefab buildings require costly cranes for assembly, a factor which is often driven up by site / foundation irregularities affecting installation
  5. Hidden costs – fully prefabricated homes are billed as cheaper and faster, but as the points above illustrate, at what additional cost?
  6. Air leakage – prefab systems only have one opportunity to seal the building with exterior tape, compared to the stringent triple-protection of a passive house build (vapor barrier, air barrier, and water barrier)
  7. Mechanical penetrations – there are a number of items required to pass through walls, such as plumbing vent pipe, exterior light and outlet wiring, HRV supply and exhaust lines, heat pump lines, etc. Prefab walls containing insulation will compromise thermal break at all of these points, making the building envelope far inferior


The superior indoor air quality, improved comfort, and reduced energy bills of a passive house are affordably achieved with an EkoBuilt passive house kit. Some of the benefits of our kit system include:

  1. Flexible, local – our kits allow you to be as involved in the build as you like, and to involve local builders and tradespeople at every step along the way.
  2. Transport – we are partnered with national carriers and distributors, allowing us to minimize delivery / travel distances regardless of property location.
  3. Site access, build versatility – the materials kit is provided unassembled, allowing for appropriate delivery vehicles and providing flexibility for adapting to building site conditions
  4. Sensible construction – it’s better not to have insulation installed in the roof and walls until the building is proven to be weather-tight; an on-site build just makes more sense.
  5. Quality assurance – the integrity of installed materials is best accomplished when they are installed together in steps: 1st vapor barrier, 2nd air barrier, 3rd water barrier. The only method of quality integration is with a site-built kit, not a pieced together panelized home.
  6. Customizable – the choice of structural wall assembly: standard wood frame or optional internal timber-frame core.
  7. Insulation – the main component designed to keep the building easy to heat and cool and remain problem-free. Any super-insulated building needs to have a vapor permeable system in place for the wall to maintain dryness. EkoBuilt Wall insulation R75, Roof insulation R120. Our choice of insulation is widely available across North America.
  8. Wind tight: an EkoBuilt PassiveHouse is guaranteed to be under 0.6ACH (air exchange per hour). Any modern building should be able to perform to this degree of air-tightness.
  9. Timing – pre-assembled kit elements achieve an accelerated build timeframe.