News Treehugger Voices It's Time to Put Passivhaus First By Lloyd Alter Lloyd Alter Facebook Twitter Design Editor University of Toronto Lloyd Alter is Design Editor for Treehugger and teaches Sustainable Design at Ryerson University in Toronto. Learn about our editorial process Updated January 11, 2020 This story is part of Treehugger's news archive. Learn more about our news archiving process or read our latest news. Share Twitter Pinterest Email News Environment Business & Policy Science Animals Home & Design Current Events Treehugger Voices News Archive How my thinking has evolved in the last decade Ten years ago, I barely knew what Passivhaus or Passive House actually was. I had written a few posts about it, including an early one where I had to explain that there was a difference between passive design and Passive-House. I am still trying to explain what it is. At the time I was also involved with the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario, touting the benefits of old buildings and what Steve Mouzon called the Original Green. Over the decade my thinking evolved, and in 2015 I asked Should we be building like Grandma's house or like the Passive-House? Over at Passive House Accelerator, a website promoting the Passive House concept, I have written about this evolution in thinking. It has been a tumultuous decade; so much has changed. Passivhaus has gone from being what one critic described as “a single metric ego driven enterprise that satisfies the energy nerd’s obsession with btu’s” to what should be the minimum acceptable standard of construction in these times. Most of the critics have been converted or gone into hiding. Instead of being nerdy it’s now recognized as necessary.