2015 International Passivhaus Conference in Leipzig
2015 International Passivhaus Conference in Leipzig

Our impressions from the 2015 Int’l Passivhaus Conference in Leipzig, Germany

A couple of weeks ago we went to Leipzig, Germany, to take part in the 19th International Passivhaus Conference, organized by the Passivhaus Institut in Darmstadt. With approximately one thousand people attending from all over the world, this event marks the gathering of some of the AEC sector’s greatest experts on energy efficiency. The following are our impressions from the event…

Read more

seattle
seattle

Living Future unConference 2015 Recap and REGENERATION Italy

A couple of weeks ago I attended the Living Future unConference in Seattle, Washington, USA, organized by the International Living Future Institute, the managing body for one of the most ambitious and visionary environmental building certifications available in the world – the Living Building Challenge. Two weeks later, I was again fortunate enough to attend the introduction of this certification here in Italy at the REGENERATION competition and conference hosted by Macro Design Studio in Rovereto, Italy. Here are my impressions from both events…

Read more

perimeter insulation - Emu Architetti
perimeter insulation - Emu Architetti

Energy Efficiency: the importance of site supervision

On our Facebook page, we are regularly publishing images from our Cavriago construction site, where we are building two Passive Houses. With this article, we would like to show just two examples of the many construction errors can occur during the scope of the works, proving that careful site supervision is necessary to meet a high level of quality and efficiency.

Read more

Shedding some light on Earth Hour and the like.

Imagine what would happen if everyone knew as much about insulation as they do about energy saving bulbs. The light bulbs in our homes have changed drastically in the past ten years. The walls, however are the same. Enrico and I decided to take a look at exactly how much energy we can expect to save on a night like M’illumino di meno or Earth Hour. And then, just for fun (!), we decided to compare that saved energy with how much we’d save by adding one single square meter of insulation to the external wall of our outdated apartment building. Here are our results…

Read more

Interior detail - #Passivhaus by CreaTerra in #Slovakia.
Interior detail - #Passivhaus by CreaTerra in #Slovakia.

Passive House Window Talks 2015

Last week Enrico took part in the 2015 Passive House Window Talks in Nova Lehota, Slovakia, a two-day event on the benefits of high-performance Passivhaus windows. It was organized by ProPassivhausFenster, a group of small European window manufacturers well known for their award-winning Smartwin windows, but it was far from the usual company-sponsored workshops designed to sell product. Architects and engineers gathered together to discuss and learn more about the technical specifications and the fundamental need for high-quality windows in everyday design.

Read more

The blackout-proof home - Emu Architects
The blackout-proof home - Emu Architects

The blackout-proof home: Passive House with high time constant

Last week, our region (Emilia, Italy) was pounded with what locals are calling “The Big Snow”. With it came very tangible proof of just how fragile is our infrastructure, particularly our electrical grid. When my husband wrote this article, originally in Italian, FOUR DAYS after the February 6th Big Snow, more than 1000 homes in the province of Reggio Emilia alone were still without electricity, leaving 4,000 people to brave the cold, many without sufficient heating. How can we fix this problem?

Read more

Example of mold - photo by Damiano Chiarini.
Example of mold - photo by Damiano Chiarini.

A Disastrous Case Study: How Replacing Windows Alone Can Lead to Mold

In our previous articles, we have cautioned that an energy retrofit should be approached with an integrated, whole-building approach, and by a professional with experience in calculating and simulating thermal envelopes. The photos below show what happened to one family’s home when they decided to do an independent partial energy retrofit, without consulting a qualified professional. In this case, they decided to replace the old windows of their house with newer, high performance windows, hoping that they would be able to reduce their energy consumption.

Read more

CERSAIE 2013 - Vives.44
CERSAIE 2013 - Vives.44

Trends in Ceramics at CERSAIE 2013 (Bologna, Italy) | Houzz

Larger, thinner, and lighter. Textured, patterned, and combined. The overwhelming feeling from this year’s edition of CERSAIE Bologna was that the ceramics industry is successfully launching this versatile material into place as a sustainable, cost-effective, technologically superior, and aesthetically pliable substitute for many other traditional building materials.

Read more