New Passive House Standard will debut in 2015

Renewable resources will be part of the new Passive House Standards introduced by Dr. Wolfgang Feist, founder of the Passive House Institute of Darmstadt, Germany, The North American Passive House Network said.

On Sept. 22, 2014, Dr. Feist will announce updates to the Passive House Standard that include the calculation of renewable sources. The new standard designations will be “Passive House Plus” for buildings generating as much energy as is consumed and “Passive House Premium” for those that generate an energy surplus.

With net zero energy and ‘nearly zero’ energy buildings becoming targets in regions across North America, these new standards are being viewed with interest by many Passive House proponents.

“The ability to acknowledge surplus energy generation in highly efficient buildings will provide incentives for owners and developers. They can get credit for efforts that go well beyond code minimum targets for efficiency,” said Ken Levenson, President of New York Passive House.

The Passive House Institute will release an update to their software, the Passive House Planning Package (PHPP), in early 2015, which will enable architects, designers and builders to design to these new standards while still optimizing the efficiency of their designs.

Dr. Fiest assured the Passive House community that new standards would not reduce the high target levels of efficiency currently required to meet the Passive House Standard.

In a recent statement Dr. Feist noted: “A building that produces an energy surplus only in summer doesn’t necessarily have a good energy balance. Photovoltaic systems typically yield little energy in winter, which is exactly when we have peak loads from heating. But there is good news: It can work with a reasonable amount of storage, it can be sustainable – but the heating energy demand itself also has to be very low. The primary consideration with respect to energy will always be: efficiency first. The Passive House Standard is the appropriate solution for this approach.”

Read more about Passive House home building.

Topics: Certification / LEED, Energy Audits, Home Design & Plans, Passive House, Sustainability Trends & Statistics, Trends / Statistics

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