About High Performance Building

Green Building Fulfilled:

High-performance building fulfills the promise of "green building," by delivering occupant heath, comfort and energy efficiency – in a cost-effective manner. A green building becomes high performance, high health, high energy efficiency and high comfort when it rigorously addresses four basic aspects of its construction:

  1. Air tightness
  2. Efficient ventilation
  3. Continuous, thermal-bridge-free highly insulated enclosure
  4. Energy balance and construction optimization with energy models like the Passive House Planning Package (PHPP)
Passive House is today's global gold standard for high-performance building. Passive House and high-performance construction - now just a sliver of the green construction sector - is differentiated by reliably delivering cost-effective and dramatic energy efficiency, reducing heating and cooling energy loads by up to 90%.

Passive House high-performance building optimizes fundamental building components – and becomes cost effective day one, with upfront costs no more than 5% to 10% of typical construction. Such high performance building can be applied to multi-family, commercial and institutional buildings of all types.

Passive House, A Brief History:

The Passive House concept was developed in the 1980’s by Professor Bo Adamson and Dr. Wolfgang Feist, based in part on the pioneering super-insulated and passive solar buildings constructed in the United States and Canada in the 1970’s. In optimizing previous "low energy" building standards, they sought to produce buildings that maintain a comfortable interior climate without conventional heating or cooling systems.

In 1990, Dr. Feist constructed the first Passive House– a four-unit residential building in Darmstadt, Germany. In 1996, Dr. Feist founded the Passivhaus Institute (PHI) in Darmstadt to develop and promote Passive House as a new building standard. With PHI, the methodology was systematized and the Passive House Planning Package was developed.

In 2000, CEPHEUS (Cost Effective Passive Houses as European Standard), a European Union funded program, built and studied 221 homes in 14 developments across Europe. Each development was produced by different architects, engineers and contractors – with different local climactic and site conditions. Extensive measurements of these projects verified the accuracy and viability of the Passive House approach.

Today Passive House is recognized around the world as a driver of building optimization and energy efficiency.

Regarding Climate Change:

American buildings use close to half our nation's energy, and therefore, energy-related carbon emissions. And 90% of a building’s energy use is a product of operations: heating, cooling, lighting, appliances. The dramatic energy reductions of high-performance and Passive House buildings could potentially slash America’s carbon emissions and thereby mitigate the worst effects of climate change.
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