Fall 2018 Editorial

“B.C.’s Energy Step Code: Driving Market Transformation,” photo by Stephen Hui, Pembina Institute.


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. British Columbia, and particularly Vancouver, have instituted policies that encourage Passive House construction. (See “B.C.’s Energy Step Code: Driving Market Transformation.”) So has New York City. And which cities in North America are hotbeds of Passive House construction? You guessed it.

These areas’ relatively fast-paced adoption of Passive House not only serves as an exemplary model, but also creates a demand for products that ultimately help Passive House designers throughout North America. Our ventilation product update (“Ventilation Options Expanding.”) is clear proof of this demand-response cycle.

Another bright star in the Passive House firmament is affordable housing. I’ve just returned from the inspiring second New Gravity Housing Conference in Philadelphia. The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) has helped fund 25 Passive House apartment buildings, each averaging 50 units. Over 1,000 Passive House dwelling units in just one state! And PHFA is walking its talk by stipulating that its expanded headquarters—a new seven-story tower and an adjacent retrofitted three-story building—be Passive House buildings. Thanks to persistent advocacy efforts, 13 other states have adopted similar incentives for affordable housing developers to create Passive House buildings. (See “Connecticut Reaffirms Passive Affordable Housing.”)

Of course, the PHI didn’t open its doors in 1996 and PHIUS didn’t incorporate in 2009 just to create efficient, healthy, and comfortable buildings. Their raison d’etre is driving down carbon emissions to ensure Earth’s livability.


Electrification, Decarbonization, and the Leapfrogging of Zero Net Energy: California’s New Path to a Low-Carbon Future,” photo Courtesy of One Sky Homes.


Elusive as this goal can feel at times, especially when many locations in the Northern Hemisphere are in flames, there is some good news from my home state. Check out “Electrification, Decarbonization, and the Leapfrogging of Zero Net Energy: California’s New Path to a Low-Carbon Future.” Here’s hoping the upcoming Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco brings carbon-reducing news from hundreds of locales, big and small.

Thank you all for creating the world’s most carbon-sipping, healthy, and comfortable Passive House buildings. And please thank our sponsors and contributing writers who make Passive House Buildings possible.

—Mary James
Editor and Publisher

Fall 2018
B.C.’s Energy Step Code: Driving Market Transformation