Community: PassivHaus

PassivHaus is a standard of construction that yields extremely tight envelopes and low energy use.

The PassivHaus Institute is in Germany, but we have a branch here in North America as well, Passive House Institute US

Q & A Instructions

[Click map to enlarge]

The GBAGreenBuildingAdvisor.com web site has a wealth of articles on a wide variety of construction topics. Before posting your question, you may want to check out the articles on this page: How To Do Everything. You just might discover an article there that provides the information you seek.

Please register for a free account or sign in to ask and answer green building questions.

If you want to post a question, the usual rules of courtesy apply:
1. Be nice.
2. If you can't be nice, be polite.
3. If you can't be nice or polite — well, please be brief.

To attach a photo or illustration: Under the box labeled “More explanation,” look for the words “File attachments.” Click that, and you should be able to attach a photo.

Thanks for joining the conversation!


1 Answer

An article on the Passivhaus standard for Chinese readers

There is a Chinese translation of the New York Times article on the Passivhaus standard ("The Passive House: Sealed for Freshness") posted on the web: Chinese version of Passivhaus article.

Interestingly, if you perform a back translation of the Chinese (back into English), "pretty good house" becomes "excellence in housing" and "Musings of an Energy Nerd" becomes "crazy energy thinking." That sounds about right.

Asked By Martin Holladay | May 29 14
7 Answers

Ventilation heating and cooling a PH

A Passive House requires a mechanical ventilation system and a heating/cooling system (Zone 5A).
What is the most cost effective method of achieving this? Since we will be putting in ductwork for the ERV/HRV system, it only makes sense to use this system to distribute warm and cool dry air, as opposed to having the ductwork and mini splits hanging on the wall. Also, we would have to condition (de-humidify or heat) the incoming air before it hits the heat exchanger anyway.

Asked By Steve Young | May 5 14
5 Answers

Venting a cathedral ceiling with 24" of cellulose

I am building a Passive House with a cathedral ceiling. I used parallel cord trusses with 27" between the top and bottom cords. I will put OSB on the bottom of the trusses as my air barrier and to hold the weight of 24" of loose fill cellulose insulation. I want to vent the roof, but the only baffles I've seen are made of thin vinyl, polystyrene or cardboard. I am afraid that they will be crushed by weight of the cellulose, which would eliminate the air channel. The roof pitch is 10:12 and is 20 feet long, so the baffles at the bottom will be under a lot of pressure.

Asked By Gerald Blycker | May 15 14
26 Answers

Any good heat recovery options for dryer and range hood exhaust?

I saw mention of this in another question/answer session, but would like to hear more.
Any way to use Heat Recovery Ventilator for dryer exhaust?-Thanks.

Asked By matt berges | Nov 26 10
2 Answers

Passive house and sunshine hours

is there a ballpark rule of thumb that spans different regions for the mean monthly sunshine or possible percent sunshine that is conducive to a favourable result in PHPP?

Asked By erik olofsson | Apr 20 14
6 Answers

PassivHaus barndominium in Minnesota

Hello everybody. First post -- just signed up. Great site. I live 30 minutes north of the Twin Cities and I'm looking at building a passiv type haus. I've found the land I'm building on (10 acres) and have somewhat of a plan for the building.

My wife and I want to build a barndominium. Looking at 50x70 total with 30x50 two stories and 40x50 shop. I have a general idea of how I want to build but alas I am newb and was hoping for some insight with the pros on this site.

Thanks again and any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Asked By Ryan Picha | Apr 1 14
2 Answers

Shocked and dismayed by PHI Closure!

Not a question... just voicing my sadness at the news of Dr Feist closing the PHI.

It seems that "Wolfgang has left the building" albeit for one that has no interior volume and therefore no heating demand. Below is a quote from the announcement in Building Green. At least there is good news.

"Founding Sphere House Institute
Feist is turning his attention to a new project, he says, involving solid cubes of rigid insulation he has dubbed Sphärhäuser. The Sphärhaus Institut (SHI) promotes three simple metrics for its cubic structures, explained Feist:

0.0 m2 interior space

Asked By albert rooks | Apr 1 14
1 Answer

Green or LEED builders in zone 5B (Central Arizona)?

I'm building a home in the central part of Arizona (Sedona) in about a year. I'm currently under contract with a designer who appears to have some comfort and knowledge with Green/LEED design and is excited to design my home around these principals. He is somewhat reluctant, however, to give me names of builders he would recommend. I suspect this is because he doesn't wish to alienate any with whom he regularly works.

Is there a listing of builders in this area that are experienced with Green/LEED building principals?

Asked By scott schroeder | Mar 31 14
9 Answers

What is the best cold climate basement strategy?

We are building a new home in the Black Hills of South Dakota, about 20 miles south of Rapid City. The floor plan is nearly finished. The home is a ranch style with a partially finished walk out basement. There is a small loft area for an office above the mudroom/ laundry/ pantry. There will be about 4,150 sq. ft. finished. The home will face due south.

Asked By Tom Hanke | Feb 15 14
4 Answers

Envelope air tightness sanity check

Designing a "Contemorary Industrial Passiv Ranch Haus" for DIY build in SW Colorado (CZ6B). Working through data entry in PHPP now and I know the one level elongated ranch style is sub-optimal for PH design. It's 2250 ft^2 (OD) with conc. slab and shed roof. Floor/ceiling/wall envelope area is 6982 ft^2 and volume is about 25789 ft^3. An optimal PH two level cube would have envelope area of 4531 ft^2 and volume about 19125 ft^3. I'm over that by 154% and 135% respectively.

Asked By Chuck Jensen | Feb 15 14
Register for a free account and join the conversation


Get a free account and join the conversation!
Become a GBA PRO!