Passive House Training – 2010

posted by Jay on 10/10/2011

For some background information on Passive House, click here.

I took the Passive House training in 2010, in order to both gain the knowledge and understanding to utilize this method for energy-efficient building design, and also to increase my knowledge of building science. The training was one of the best educational opportunities in regard to sustainable building practice available. The methodology is a performance-based model of detailed floor, wall, and roof assemblies; specific climate data and external solar gains; internal heating loads from occupants and equipment; and renewable energy sources, into a total energy analysis.

The training was nine days split into three sessions. For more information check out Passive House US. The Passive House Institute US (PHIUS) is a 501c(3) nonprofit organization that provides training, education and research to promote implementation of Passive House Building Energy standard, as well as the design approach and techniques to accomplish that standard.

Smith House
The Smith House, Urbana, Ill., designed and built to the Passive House Building Energy standard in 2003 by Katrin Klingenberg, founder and Executive Director of PHIUS.

Passive house design is just beginning to be undertaken in the US, but has been done extensively in Europe, and will be mandatory in a number of countries there over the next decade.

While it is possible to retrofit a structure to meet this standard, it is difficult and therefore mostly used for new construction. Larger buildings, multi-family residential, offices, and schools are able to meet the standard more easily than single-family structures.

Kranichstein 1 Kranichstein 2
First Passive House in Darmstadt Kranichstein, Germany. Architect: Professor Bott, Ridder, Westermeyer.

We are fortunate in Seattle to have a strong passive house chapter, Passive House Northwest, and a number of very dedicated peers to share knowledge. PHNW sponsors local conferences in support of additional learning.