Fall 2018 Editorial

As Trump continues to gut environmental policies and Trudeau supports massive new oil pipelines to carry tar sands crude, at least we can take heart from the locales that are incentivizing or requiring Passive House performance.

B.C.’s Energy Step Code: Driving Market Transformation

In 2017, British Columbia introduced the B.C. Energy Step Code—what might be North America’s most innovative beyond-code standard for energy efficiency.

Connecticut Reaffirms Passive Affordable Housing

Passive affordable housing might have been the exception to the rule, except for a relentless outreach campaign initiated by Tim McDonald, principal of Onion Flats.

North American Passive House Window Study

In 2017, the Fenestration Association of British Columbia decided to fund a project to help Canadian window manufacturers increase their share of the growing demand for Passive House windows.

Ventilation Options Expanding

High-performance ventilation choices expanded rapidly in 2018 with new products targeted specifically for airtight, efficient Passive House buildings.

Scalable, Efficient Retrofit Solutions

NYSERDA awarded the first six Energiesprong-style retrofits, aiming to create standardized, scalable, deep energy-efficient retrofit solutions.

Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre Passive Housing

Designed to bring affordability and community spirit to a small city on Vancouver Island’s east coast, Nuutsumuut Lelum provides 25 affordable suites for youth, elders, and families in three two-story Passive House buildings.

Chicago’s (and Illinois’) First EnerPHIT

When Mike Conners of Kenwood Construction Services, Incorporated, bought a foreclosed house in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago, it was in pretty bad shape—and now it’s a net zero building.

Sol Lux Alpha—Carbon-Neutral Nanogrid

Sol Lux Alpha is the first Passive House certified multiunit nanogrid development in the United States. A nanogrid is a self-contained energy system that is islandable from the grid.

Waynflete Lower School

The new 23,000-ft2 Waynflete Lower School facility, designed and built to meet the Passive House standard, opened its doors this past August.

Cold Climate Passive Auto Dealership

In chilly Red Deer, Alberta, Canada, where the winter design temperature is –29°C (–20°F), constructing any type of Passive House building is a challenge.

The Carrick Library

Carrick will be North America’s first Passive House-certified library.

Wood Innovation Research Lab

The Masters of Engineering in Integrated Wood Design program at the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) equips design and construction professionals with the knowledge needed to apply wood use, building science, and sustainable-...

Passive House Under the Radar

On the gradient between splashy and subtle Passive House projects, Blackstone Apartments, a 19-unit affordable housing development in Portland, Maine, falls so far toward the subtle end as to fall off the graph completely.

Affordable Multifamily Housing in Cambridge

Can a multifamily Passive House building be constructed for the same cost as a code-built building? According to architect and Certified Passive House Consultant Michelle Apigian of ICON Architecture, the answer is a resounding...

Mixed-Use Building Rises in Midtown Manhattan

This 24-story mixed-use building embodies the challenges and risks in developing an urban site with neighboring tall buildings, a tight zoning envelope, and a mid-block location with limited light, air, and access.

Nuthatch Hollow

Nuthatch Hollow is being designed to meet both the Passive House and the Living Building Challenge (LBC) standards.

Multifamily Moisture Control

Domestic moisture generation—moisture from human activity—is a major factor driving the humidity levels in our residential buildings, especially in superairtight Passive House construction.

California’s New Path to a Low-Carbon Future

In February of 2018, the city of Palo Alto released the groundbreaking report, Buildings Baseline Study and Roadmap for Zero Net Energy Buildings.

Flixo—A Learning Curve Worth Navigating

Flixo, two-dimensional thermal-modeling software that was recently developed in Europe, is relatively unknown in North America, but offers considerable promise for Passive House practitioners.

California’s Energy Future

California’s Energy Future California is a land of many climates, from sun-splashed beaches to snowy mountains. California’s Passive House buildings are similarly diverse, with each project well tailored to its respective climate. What these...