Passive Passion: A Documentary on Passive House Designby Jens Voshage on Jan 19, 2012 • 16:33 No Comments
Passive Passion is a 21-minute documentary on the Passive House design method – an approach that combines heavy insulation, airtightness, and heat-recovery ventilation to achieve reductions of up to 90% in the energy required for heating and cooling. Considering the fact that buildings contribute as much as 40% of our country’s carbon emissions, and half of that is for heating and cooling, savings of this magnitude could have considerable implications for our warming planet.
Henry Gifford is a NYC-based building scientist who designs heating systems for some of the most efficient apartment houses in the country, and his dream is to erect a Passive House apartment building in the United States. But this is no pie-in-in-the-sky scheme – over 20,000 Passive House dwellings have been built in Europe, and those include multifamily dwellings, office buildings, and schools.
This introduction to a unique and promising style of building examines the extent to which European builders have taken the concept, and the vast ground American Passive House enthusiasts have to make up. It remains something of a fringe movement in the United States, but can the Passive House method change the way we build?