Today, the most viewed and emailed article on the NY Times is one on Passive House, “Can we Build in a Brighter Shade of Green?” The concept of Passive House has been growing in popularity over the last eight years or so, especially in green building circles. These homes are ultra energy-efficient and, with some on-site energy generation, can be energy neutral or energy producing.
Specifically, according to Passive House Institute US, a Passive House must be airtight, or have less than 0.6 air changes per hour with an air pressure difference of 50 Pascals. It must also use very little energy, or no more than 15 kWh/m2 per year for heating and 15 kWh/m2 per year for cooling, as well as no more than 120 kWh/m2 per year for primary energy.
I’ve mentioned several of these houses — some completed and others under construction — in the past couple years:
- Traditional Passive House in Oregon
- Super Efficient Breezeway House in Utah
- Net Zero Sungazing House in Park City
- First Passive House Retrofit in the Nation
- Innovative Passive House in Lafayette
- Affordable Red Passive House in Belfast
- Circular Passive House Villa in Sweden
- Two Passive House Row Homes in Philly
- Prescott Passive House in Kansas City
- Wisconsin Passive House in the Woods
- Hemicycle Passive House in North Carolina
- Zevon Passive House in Alta, Utah
- Passive House Retreat in Little Compton
The Landau House mentioned in the above-referenced article is under construction in Vermont. Designed by ZeroEnergy Design and built by Bensonwood Homes, the new home will have roughly 17″ thick walls, an ERV, solar hot water, and a small solar photovoltaic system.
Credit: NY Times.