What Does Passive House Alignment Mean for Your Build?
The Passive House Institute US (PHIUS) principles aren’t exactly new. But that doesn’t take away from their importance. In fact, if you head over to the PHIUS website, you will see that “buildings designed and built to the PHIUS+ 2015 Passive Building Standard consume 86% less energy for heating and 46% less energy for cooling (depending on climate zone and building type) when compared to a code-compliant building.” Pretty compelling stuff, right? But at the end of the day, those principles aren’t mandated by official building codes. So, why should you build toward the only internationally recognized, performance-based energy standard in construction?
The established PHIUS design principles are “used to attain a quantifiable and rigorous level of energy efficiency within a specific quantifiable comfort level.” According to Katrin Klingenberg, Executive Director of PHIUS, “Since 2012, PHIUS has worked on delivering a standard that would make it easier and more practical for professionals to deliver ambitious, performance-based, energy-efficient designs.”
There are no set aesthetics or specific building end uses you have to adhere to when building a Passive House-certified building. The point is to ensure your building – be it a home, hospital or high-rise – is energy efficient. Passive House-certified buildings provide excellent temperature control and greatly mitigate mold and condensation issues because of their extremely airtight building envelopes and high level of insulation. These elements contribute to the energy efficiency by simultaneously reducing the amount of hot or cool air required to create comfort in the building, and reducing the energy required to push said air throughout the building.
With all that being said, potential moisture issues must be carefully addressed at the design stage. And to do this properly, consider working with a Certified Passive House Consultant (CPHC®). CPHCs are trained to accurately model building performance and to identify and address potential moisture issues with a variety of techniques.
Here at Cosella-Dörken, we have CPHCs certified by PHIUS and NAPHN (the North American Passive House Network, which uses German Passivhaus Standards). This allows us to assist in the design of any Passive House, no matter the standards chosen by the architect. Additionally, we serve on the Manufacturers’ Council for PHIUS, an advisory board that helps simplify details and aids in making Passive House more mainstream.
But we don’t simply support the Passive House movement; the products we manufacture are tested to and pass all North American building code standards, so any Passive House build using DELTA® products can be code compliant as well.
Click here to read more about Passive House Design