Posted on April 10, 2015 by Scott Gibson
Builders who specialize in net-zero, PassivhausA residential building construction standard requiring very low levels of air leakage, very high levels of insulation, and windows with a very low U-factor. Developed in the early 1990s by Bo Adamson and Wolfgang Feist, the standard is now promoted by the Passivhaus Institut in Darmstadt, Germany. To meet the standard, a home must have an infiltration rate no greater than 0.60 AC/H @ 50 pascals, a maximum annual heating energy use of 15 kWh per square meter (4,755 Btu per square foot), a maximum annual cooling energy use of 15 kWh per square meter (1.39 kWh per square foot), and maximum source energy use for all purposes of 120 kWh per square meter (11.1 kWh per square foot). The standard recommends, but does not require, a maximum design heating load of 10 W per square meter and windows with a maximum U-factor of 0.14. The Passivhaus standard was developed for buildings in central and northern Europe; efforts are underway to clarify the best techniques to achieve the standard for buildings in hot climates., or other types of high-performance houses may like nothing better than explaining the advantages of their approach, but lots of prospective customers apparently have no idea what they're talking about.
"Sure, it’s second nature for builders, architects and remodelers to talk about advanced framingHouse-framing techniques in which lumber use is optimized, saving material and improving the energy performance of the building envelope. and net-zero homes as if those terms are equally familiar to their customers," Sharon O'Malley wrote in a recent post at ConstructionDive.