17 tips from our experts on the best way to carry out passive house design and construction for your next multifamily project.
By Robert Cassidy, Executive Editor
1.0 AIA LU/HSW
The concept of “passive house” originated in North America in response to the OPEC oil embargo of 1973 and the subsequent energy crisis. At that time, the U.S. Department of Energy and its counterpart in Canada started promoting cost-effective, “passive” energy-conservation measures—insulating buildings better, halting air leakage in the envelope, installing energy-efficient glazing. Once the oil embargo was lifted, in March 1974, America’s homebuilders quickly fell back to erecting energy hogs. In 1991 Swedish academic Bo Anderson and German physicist Wolfgang Feist designed the world’s first passivhaus (the German term)—a four-unit row house in Darmstadt, Germany. Five years later Feist established the Passivhaus Institute (PHI), which developed the Passivhaus Standard for certifying buildings. Since 1996, PHI has certified about a thousand projects in Europe.