Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Passive House

"Passive House" may be an apt name, but it was not developed by a marketing genius. It sounds kind of lame, but there is a lot of science and research behind the concept.

Here is a part of the intro from the web site of Passive House Institute US:

The Passive House concept represents today's highest energy standard with the promise of slashing the heating energy consumption of buildings by an amazing 90%. Widespread application of the Passive House design would have a dramatic impact on energy conservation. Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration shows that buildings are responsible for 48% of greenhouse gas emissions annually and 76% of all electricity generated by U.S. power plants goes to supply the Building Sector [Architecture2030]. It has been abundantly clear for some time that the Building Sector is a primary contributor of climate-changing pollutants, and the question is asked: How do we best square our building energy needs with those of our environment and of our pocketbook? In the realm of super energy efficiency, the Passive House presents an intriguing option for new and retrofit construction; in residential, commercial, and institutional projects. 

Here are a few pix from a site in St. Louis where a Passive House is under construction. It utilizes insulated concrete forms and structural insulated panels among other strategies to enhance performance. I can't wait to see the finished product.