New Passive House Book Hot Off the Presses: ‘Recreating the American Home, The Passive House Approach’

September 28, 2010 1 comment

Buy Now: Send $25 payment (includes shipping) via PayPal to — be sure to include your mailing address, or email for info on sending a $25 check.

From steamy Louisiana to snowy Wisconsin, and from Brooklyn brownstones to western Marin County bungalows, Passive Houses are being created in a wide range of climate and building types across the United States. Recreating the American Home: The Passive House Approach by Mary James showcases 10 recently constructed Passive House projects across the country.

With its mix of new construction and retrofit projects in a variety of climate types, Recreating the American Home provides concrete examples of elegant, energy-efficient housing solutions for architects, builders, and homeowners everywhere.

As increasing numbers of Passive Houses get built, and more people experience the comfort and low energy bills that these homes deliver, the demand for Passive Houses will continue to grow. This book chronicles how architects, builders, and designers across the country can respond to their clients’ requests for comfortable, greener, more energy-efficient homes—in short, for homes that help them create the future they want to live in.

Categories: passive house

News from the Passive House Institute Conference in Dresden

May 28, 2010 Leave a comment

Credit: canonG2fan/Flickr

The Passive House Institute’s (PHI) conference in Dresden, Germany started this morning with Dr. Wolfgang Feist announcing a new institute certification for retrofits of existing buildings, the EnerPHit certificate. The new certificate serves as proof that a building has been remodeled using PHI approved components or has achieved a heating energy demand of no more than 25 kWh per square meter annually.

On occasion the energy consumption of old buildings can not meet the level of the rigorous PH building energy standard, Feist explained, but the same PH components can be used as would be used for a new building, and the energy use can be improved significantly.

When questioned further, Feist said that the airtightness standard for existing buildings could be relaxed to 1 ACH at 50 Pascals for these existing buildings, and still prevent problems with moisture getting into the walls. A new building can be designed to ensure meeting e PH standard, said Feist, but there are many aspects in an old building that can’t be changed, such as orientation or thermal bridges at the basement walls. In these circumstances, the retrofitting of an existing building deserves the new certification.

Examples of Passive Houses

May 28, 2010 Leave a comment

(top) The Waldsee BioHaus, in Bemidji, Minnesota, the first officially certified Passive House in the United States, was featured in Low Carbon Productions’ first book about passive houses, Homes for a Changing Climate: Passive Houses in the U.S.

(bottom) German University’s Technische Universitat Darmstadt’s passive house was the winner of the 2007 Solar Decathlon. Image credit: Jim Tetro/Flickr