During Enrico’s recent visit to Colorado, we finally had the chance to visit Andrew Michler’s passive house.
At about 2.000 m (6.400 ft), in the mountains near Fort Collins, Colorado, this building is capable of remaining comfortable even in case of a power outage, with an interior temperature of about 18°C (64°F) with no heating.
The construction system certification is possibly the least known certification offered by the Passivhaus Institut, and yet it can help spreading passive buildings all over the world.
We worked on the first system certification for passive houses in a warm climate: we try and explain what it’s all about.
With Mariana currently involved full time with Natural Capitalism Solutions and AE Building Systems, our professional ties with Colorado are now solid.
This allows us to have experience in highly efficient buildings on both sides of the Atlantic, with some initial interesting considerations.
At the 2015 International Passive House Conference in Leipzig, Germany, the Passivhaus Institut presented version 9 of PHPP, which includes many new features to design passive buildings.
Many articles have been written about the new primary energy method and the certification classes. In our mind, however, PHPP 9 has more important new features: we explain what they are.
With this article, we address one of the most important topics in the field of energy efficiency: the airtightness of the thermal envelope.
Whether the building is a new construction or a renovation, its airtightness plays an important role for comfort, energy efficiency and durability of the structure.
We continue our series of articles on the topic of thermal bridges: this time, we illustrate the fRsi value, which describes the thermal ”strenght” of a node under the point of view of internal surface temperatures.
As we have explained in a previous article, the PSI value describes a higher or lower heat flow caused by a discontinuity in the thermal envelope – a thermal bridge – the fRsi factor is of primary importance for health and comfort considerations.
On Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th, our construction site in Cavriago was open to the public for the International Passive House Days. On Friday 13th, the local Scuola Edile visited us for a class on energy efficiency.
The event was a great success: the unexpected number of visitors (more than 100!) shows the great interest for Passive Houses in Italy.
In Cavriago, we’re currently building two certified Passive Houses, with a load bearing concrete frame and baked clay blocks as infill, and a wooden roof. For the first time in the world for a “warm” country, the whole construction system is being certified: we’re going to present it at the 2016 International Passive House Conference in Darmstadt, Germany.
The event attracted over one hundred people, with a mixture of professionals and non professionals. We’d like to thank the visitors who came from Garfagnana and Faenza (over 100 km away!), as well as people from Reggio Emilia, Modena, Parma and Cremona.
We also would like to thank the local Architect’s Association, who attributed continued education credits to our event. Our site was visited by over twenty architects.
The event was a success: one of its main goal was to locally share information about Passive Houses. For this reason, we are considering replicating the event later on, probably around February 2016.
We include here the photos of the information panels we prepared for the event.
For new builds as well as energy retrofits, worldwide the construction industry is shifting more and more towards zero energy buildings and Passive Houses.
With the thermal envelope becoming more and more advanced, the correct evaluation of thermal bridges becomes critical: with this article, we explain the PSI value.
The International Passive House Days are an event organized by the Passivhaus Institut, to publicize what a passive house is, and to let people “touch” the state of the art of construction in terms of comfort and energy efficiency.
This year, we take part to the event with our Cavriago project, where we are currently building two single-family passive houses: our construction site is going to be open to the public on Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th.