Katrin Klingenberg, Co-Founder and Director of Ecological Construction Laboratory & Passive House Institute US
October 28, 2008
The Passive House movement began in the US, was carried on in Germany and Sweden, spread through Europe, and is now being reintroduced in North America. An underlying principle is that developed countries need to reduce the emissions from space conditioning their homes by at least 90% on average to bring them within sustainable levels. Not only is this achievable, but available tools help make it cost-effective. Passive House US sets performance-based limits for maximum heating/cooling load, annual space conditioning demand, and total annual home energy consumption. Building closures are so tight and well insulated that heat recovery ventilation becomes the principal -or only- mechanical system. Electric and water loads are small and met by renewable sources. Packages of building measures and retrofit strategies can be developed for any combination of climate, geographic region, and building typology.