New Door Leads From the Dog House to the Passivhaus

This story is part of Treehugger's news archive. Learn more about our news archiving process or read our latest news.
©. PetWALK

It is like they used to say about the internet; in a Passivhaus, nobody knows you’re a dog. You always have to wait until some human opens the door to the yard. Regular pet doors won’t work because Passivhaus, or Passive house, puts strict limits on air infiltration and most pet doors are really like a big hole in the wall.

petWalk door

Lloyd Alter/CC BY 2.0

Until now, with petWALK, a pet door seen at the 21st International Passivhaus conference in Vienna. It’s made in Austria to the strict Passivhaus standard of insulation and sealing and has a powerful motor that opens and closes it on demand and seals it tight, so tightly that it did not have measurable leakage at a pressure of 600 pascals. It has a standard U-value of 0.811 W / (m2 K) m with optional frame insulation even of 0.523 W / (m2K). Insulation and sealing of that quality also keeps out noise. It is also considered burglar proof and can be connected to a home’s alarm system. Lots of cute dogs but not much door action in this video:

Humans can operate it with a remote control, or the dog or cat can do it with a dongle on their collar or an RFID transponder implant under their skin. No cute dogs in my video:

doggiedoor from Lloyd Alter on Vimeo.

Unlike manual cat flaps that animals have to be trained to use, the petWALK door is intuitive, even for a dog.

As most of the animals are used to go through doors or windows, the mode of operation of petWALK pet doors is no surprise to them. Furthermore petWALK pet doors - already the smallest size- offer pleasantly large through holes. So the animals can stride through the door as on the catwalk with their heads held high and no longer have to squeeze through narrow openings. petWALK also allows the animals to gradually and cautiously adapt to the newly-found freedom.
petwalk exploded


They really think of everything- there is even a backup battery so that if your pet is outside in a power failure, it can still get back in.

At 1500 euros it isn’t cheap, but nothing is too good for the family pet, right?