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Old 04-26-11, 10:39 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by S-F View Post wouldn't be too hard to adapt something to meet passive standards.
I did find out that at least there is a firm in Canada that designs Passive Houses, and they have certified builders, also in Canada, with whom they have co-ordinated working relations who are qualified to properly execute the designs. They are also trying to get Passive House qualified builders in the US.

From what I have been able to find out, there are stringent techniques used to achieve an air-tight house that go way beyond what would be considered normal building practices. And then there are the techniques used to get the required insulation levels. So among areas of focus are:
  • superinsulation
  • airtight construction
  • mechanical heat recovering ventilation
  • high performance doors and windows
  • window placement to minimize heat loss & benefit from solar gain
High performance doors and windows go considerably beyond what is generally available in the US.

I did find that Certified Passive House Consultant Trainings are taking place...

...and that they are screening for serious qualified people for these trainings... first I thought it was a trade association thing, closing ranks, but then I came across this link to passive house related building practices, and I remembered that what is now known as Passive House actually started with the Super Insulation initiative and also combined the Passive Solar ideas, and was then picked up by the Germans who refined the ideas and devised a way to generalize construction for any building site and climate. (by the way, the listed 'best practices' manuals are not all currently available, but if you make use of, you can still find them.)

So I think that what is going on is that Passive House organizations world wide are making a very steep claim, namely that energy use will be 10% of 'normal, well-insulated homes'... and they want to make sure that homes that carry the Passive House name actually achieve that goal.

From what I have read, trying to retrofit a house to Passive House standards is simply not possible, but it is possible (not easy) to get to 20% energy use of 'normal, well-insulated homes'.

I know that I would be quite pleased to get even close to that.

So, "...wouldn't be hard...", wouldn't be too right. Meeting Passive House standards is a very high bar.


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