Most of the buzz surrounding Passive House seems to be related to energy efficiency. On the one hand, you’ve probably heard about the 90% reduction of energy use, no furnace, net zero ready. While, on the other hand, we hear that “green buildings” often fall short on the energy efficiency expectations. What is it, then?
The most important step towards energy efficiency and long-term affordability in buildings is good insulation. However, the effectiveness of an insulating material goes way beyond its thermal conductivity (R-Value, U-Value): a building’s design and technical installation knowledge work hand-in-hand to ensure insulation will live up to expectations. Air-tight design with few thermal bridges helps ensure that insulation will provide the expected benefits. Nonetheless, while R-values are enforced by the Alberta Building Code, designing air-tight buildings that also avoid thermal bridges remains a voluntary practice. This situation is especially concerning when it comes to affordable housing, where there is no room for waste on a tight budget. What’s the point of spending on insulation that is not going to be effective in the long-run?
Passive House professionals and enthusiasts alike seem to speak non-stop about the benefits of the standard. In the following posts we’ll break down how these benefits are directly linked to the Passive House principles.