The North American Passive House Network (NAPHN) has announced three workshops in September aimed at helping manufacturers increase the development and production of climate-specific windows suitable for Passivhaus construction.
Workshops will take place in Madison, Wisconsin, on September 22; in Toronto on September 28; and in Vancouver, British Columbia, on September 30.
“These workshops are designed to provide support and assistance to a broad spectrum of manufacturers looking for ways to improve their current window performance or to design new profiles to meet the climate specific Passive House Component Certification criteria,” NAPHN said in a news release.
The announcement follows the award of a nearly $900,000 grant in July by the Canadian government to Dynamic Windows and Doors. The money is to help the company produce a window that could be used in Passivhaus construction at its Abbotsford, British Columbia, plant. Dynamic would be the first to market a made-in-Canada wood Passivhaus window, according to the Canadian government.
NAPHN said the grant represented “the first major North American government investment to develop high-performance components” needed for certification. Manufacturers will get information on how to design, make, and certify high-performance windows with various frame materials as the market for these products continues to expand.
A “robust” European market offers more than 200 window products certified by Germany’s Passivhaus Institut (PHI), NAHPN says. But according to NAPHN co-presidents Bronwyn Barry and Ken Levenson, there is a single U.S. manufacturer of a window certified by PHI, Synergist Windows in California. The scarcity of North American producers forces builders to look overseas.
In an email, Barry wrote that there are “very few” locally made windows that are insulated adequately for the most densely populated areas of North America. She cited one study which found less than 1% of windows produced in North America could achieve even the “cool temperature” U-factor requirements of PHI. Further, a “hygiene and comfort” requirement designed to eliminate cold spots on window surfaces is poorly understood, she said.
(The Passive House Institute U.S., which is not connected to PHI, has its own window data certification program.)
Registration information for the September workshops is available at this NAPHN website.