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News from the Passive House Institute Conference in Dresden

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.

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