Building-coupled energy demand is calculated by including all energy needed for the building (including space heating, ventilation, air conditioning including cooling and associated technical installations). New buildings will typically have a low energy demand, while renovated buildings allow for a higher demand.

User-coupled energy demand includes energy consumption for domestic water heating and lighting. Appliances such as a fridge, television or computer, are included only as heat gains in a heat balance calculation, accounting for reduced heating or increased cooling demands.

In the design phase, it is important to focus on minimising the use of energy by minimising heat loss through the building envelope. This includes heat loss by conduction and air infiltration through external construction elements.

It is crucial to adopt a holistic approach to the use of energy. This means, for example, that an Active House should be optimised with maximum use of solutions that are not energy intensive. Such solutions could be solar gain, daylight, natural ventilation, night ventilation cooling, solar shading etc. Shading of exposed facades and windows shall be established when needed, either as a permanent summer solution or as dynamic intelligent solution.

The definition of the useful heated floor area shall follow the national definition.