American Passive House Network Founded To "Promote Passive House Across The Country in an Inclusive Manner"

© Dennis Wedlick Architect/ Peter Aaron

In about the year 30, a non-jew came to Rabbi Hillel and asked him to teach him all about the Torah, really all about the religion, while standing on one foot. The rabbi replied: "Don't do unto your neighbour what you would not have him do unto you. That's the whole law; all the rest is commentary."

The Passive House concept is like that. You can explain the fundamentals while standing on one foot, as it is a simple, elegant performance metric: Don't burn more than this much energy for heating, cooling or overall per square foot; don't leak more than this much air. It's simple; all the rest is commentary.

Unfortunately, just like religion, within the Passive House movement there is a lot of commentary. And just like religion, there are schisms, as noted in our earlier post on the split between the original Passivhaus institute and PHIUS, the American offshoot.

© aphn

Fortunately, there are a few agnostics around who are interested in the idea of Passive House design and less interested in who has the True Word. They've just founded the American Passive House Network:

The goal of the network is to serve as a resource and communication hub for any and all existing and emerging regional Passive House organizations. We choose to remain independent from the growing body of training and certification entities on the US market. We hope this allows the Passive House market to develop and flourish organically. We endeavor to promote all groups who share our common interest in promoting the adoption of the Passive House standard across the North American continent.

The organization claims to neutral on the split, and is instead coalescing around a regional focus, which is logical given that building codes are regulated at the State level. On its Certification page, it lists everyone worldwide, since there has not traditionally been geographic exclusivity.

The Passivhaus standard is by no means perfect; some think that it sets too high a bar to gain widespread acceptance. I personally think we have to get away from relative consumption per square foot and towards absolute consumption per person, but that is perhaps equally simplistic.

Nonetheless, I do believe that the American Passive House Network is a positive step toward healing the breach and making the Passive House concept more accessible to the public.

Tags: Energy Efficiency | Green Building