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Community and Q&A

PassivHaus Discussion

John Brooks | Posted in PassivHaus on

This (GBA) Site is great.. but at this is difficult to have a “discussion”.(maybe soon???)
Meanwhile, if anyone would like to Observe or Discuss Passivhaus…please visit the JLC forum.
Thorsten Chlupp (from Alaska) is sharing some good stuff.
I hope others with Passivhaus knowledge or questions will join in soon.
We (USA) have so much to learn.

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  1. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #1

    Thanks for your post. There's no reason whatsoever that you can't use this Q&A section for discussing topics relevant to residential green building. So, discuss away!

    Dr. Wolfgang Feist has done a great job packaging a series of standards for superinsulated houses. I'm especially grateful that the Europeans continually stress the point that it's better to invest in a good thermal envelope rather than gadgets and expensive equipment.

    Here are a few points:

    1. American builders will find the Pasivhaus standard for windows to be very challenging. In most cases, you'll need triple-glazed argon-filled windows with double low-e coatings, in excellent frames (for example, foam-filled pultruded fiberglass), with multiple rows of weatherstripping. As far as I know, available U.S. and Canadian windows don't quite meet the standard (0.14 whole window U-factor).

    2. The Passivhaus standard takes thermal bridging very seriously.

    3. Get ready to install a lot more rigid foam under your slabs if you want to meet the standard.

    4. Some U.S. builders may find the European insistence that all ventilation systems must include an HRV, and that HRV ductwork is the best way to deliver space heat, as somewhat baffling. Other ways exist.

    Let the debates continue!

  2. John Brooks | | #2

    I would like to exchange ideas about Passivhaus here.
    I would suggest adding a feature to this site that is more thread friendly if you know what I mean.
    This q&a section is useful...but hard to navigate and follow threads. We need a forum here at GBA.
    The other reason I suggested JLC was that Thorsten Chlupp has already "jumped in" .. I attempted to recruit him to post here...maybe you can nudge him.
    John (with an h)

  3. Daniel Morrison | | #3

    After meeting with Paul Eldrenkamp at a mini passive House conference in Massachusetts a few weeks ago I set up this forum. I was looking for ways to engage the PHUS bunch and Paul thought that giving them a forum outside the PHUS web site may help. No one really knows about it yet, but I wanted to get the ball rolling.

    There will be another PH mini-conference later this summer and we're going to try like the dickens to stream it live via a video webinar.

    Thanks for noticing,

  4. John Brooks | | #4

    Martin, we are so far behind the Germans that it is futile to try and jump up to their standards...It will take time.
    Your attitude seems a little negative.
    Our USA housing industry is like General Motors.
    We are asleep at the wheel.
    We don't have to adopt the Passivhaus standard ...
    If we could just hit Half of their standard in every category then we could start leaping.

  5. John Brooks | | #5

    Dan, you understand what I mean about the navigation for these threads? we need something more like Breaktime or JLC Building Science. I think that this site is the best place for discussions like this.. we just need better tools.

  6. John Brooks | | #6

    I can paste some of the stuff that Thorsten has already shared over here.
    Maybe we can get him to move over here.
    He is very generous but his time is limited.
    Dan, I am looking forward to hear what Paul has to say.

  7. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #7

    In my post I was trying to highlight a few features of Passivhaus buildings that U.S. builders may find most challenging. I certainly didn't intend my comments to be negative. I'm a Passivhaus fan — I love triple-glazed windows and exterior foam (or double-stud walls filled with lots of cellulose).

  8. John Brooks | | #8

    Martin, I knew you were a Passivhaus fan..that's what I like about you. Your mindset and priorities reminds me of Passivhaus.

  9. John Brooks | | #9

    Doh Dan,
    I just realized what you have done.. by setting up this category for passive house.
    It is good for now ... but may develop the same problem as the Q&A section.
    As more and more new threads are started the format will become harder to navigate.

  10. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #10

    For more comments on the topic, visit another GBA Web page:

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