Did you know that it’s possible to save 90% of typical home energy costs? Passive House, the most stringent energy standard in building construction, enables you to build a cheaper, more comfortable, healthier and safer home that requires only 10% of typical energy use. A PH Building is heated with the heat gains from appliances, the occupants’ body heat, cooking, bathing, TV and computer heat gains etc., but for those really cold snaps less than the heat produced by a hair dryer can make up the difference. You don’t need a furnace, woodstove, heated floor, or boiler. In fact, you could use an actual hair dryer, or bake a cake, or cook a pizza, or have a party, and the waste heat from that one event would make your house as cozy and warm as you could desire for days of sub-zero temps without sunshine.
Not to be confused with Passive Solar, Passive House is a construction method that uses super-insulation, sunward positioning of high performance windows, sealing against air leakage, and controlled air exchange to create a highly energy-efficient building. There are tens of thousands of these buildings in existence around the world, including a few homes right here in Vermont. And, there is a technique called “EnerPHit” that can perform a Passive House-level retrofit to an existing building.
To explore the latest technology in building design and retrofitting, join experts in the field and see the latest products at the second annual Passive House Symposium on Thursday, Oct. 2 at Vermont Technical College, Randolph. For more information or to register go to www.PHAUSVT.org.
Watch this space next week for another installment about the symposium.