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Community and Q&A

Dr. Wolfgang Feist posts a comment on GBA’s Passivhaus reporting

Martin Holladay | Posted in PassivHaus on

Dr. Wolfgang Feist has decided to post a comment on one of my blogs. Since it’s easy to miss such postings, I’m alerting interested readers to his post and my response. They can be found here:

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  1. Michael Chandler | | #1

    Getting sort of feisty in there!

    Definitely elevating the conversation to have Dr. Feist joining us. Thanks for bringing it to our attention!.

    And Merry Christmas to all!


  2. Riversong | | #2

    "Feisty" is hardly the word. Dr. Feist was disrespectful and broadly distorted the comments of others.

    I just added a comment that offers a meta-evaluation of this discussion. Though I am a teacher of building science and building technology, and have been a pioneer in super-insulated passive solar homes for 30 years, I bring a much broader and deeper critique of the entire scientific & technological approach to life - an approach which is far more limiting and dysfunctional than most would like to acknowledge.

  3. John Brooks | | #3

    I am glad that you stirred things up .. and that a dialogue has begun.
    What surprises me is that you still can't see how your words and John Straube's words were an insult to Passivhaus, Dr. Feist and Katrin.
    I respect every one involved...let's play nice.

  4. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #4

    Thanks for your perspective. I'm always willing to consider whether my reporting has been fair. Certainly, I strive to be accurate, not insulting.

    From my perspective — perhaps humanly flawed — I have been unfairly accused of spreading disinformation. The main reason for the accusation appears to be that I raised a technical question: At what point does sub-slab insulation become more expensive than PV? I have been rather surprised at the response of the Passivhaus community to what I still believe is an interesting topic.

  5. Riversong | | #5


    I just read through Martin's blogs and all the dozens of follow-up comments and no where can I find evidence of insulting remarks from either Martin or John Straube. On the contrary, all the insults came from the PH side. What are you refering to?

  6. John Brooks | | #6

    I agree and I apologize to Martin. I was wearing my defensive glasses when I first read the Blog.
    I am still a Passivhaus fan. I thought somone had just shot Santa Claus.
    I zeroed in on words like murky and illogical...
    I read between the lines from there on and decided that
    "Wow! Martin and John Straube are being rough on these guys."
    I also HAD a personal disdain for PV that I am learning to get over.
    I guess I am trying to say that I can see and understand why Katrin and the Passivhaus community were so offended.
    And why Dr. Feist was getting a little Feisty.
    Funny how two people can read the same thing and "Read" it in different ways.
    I can go back now and read it again and it is somehow not the same.
    I apologize again to Martin.
    Besides some feelings getting bruised.. It is an excellent blog with lots of good nuggets of info from both sides.

  7. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #7

    Robert — thanks.
    John — apology accepted.

  8. Riversong | | #8

    John, when you say " I thought somone had just shot Santa Claus" I have to assume that you're a "true believer" in Santa.

    You said, "I guess I am trying to say that I can see and understand why Katrin and the Passivhaus community were so offended."

    Objectively, there was nothing that was in any way offensive. So when PA acolytes get their hackles up over legitimate debate, I have to also conclude that they are not simply advocates or practitioners but "true believers" who cannot tolerate anything that even smells like criticism.

    And this worries me. I'm a strong advocate of certain approaches, materials and techniques, but I'm alway willing to both hear criticism and respond fairly to it. There seems to be something about the PH movement which either invites or creates fanatical adherents who cannot engage in respectful dialogue with those who disagree with them or raise legitimate concerns. What's this about?

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