Passive House builders to train fellow builders at JLC LIVE Northwest 2011

On behalf of Passive House Alliance US, Hammer & Hand helped organize a series of builder trainings.

The Passive House standard, with its affordable reduction of over 80% in building energy consumption, holds lots of promise…for the planet, for household budgets, and for a building industry looking to find its way to stability and sustainability after the last cycle of boom and bust.  (See Sam Hagerman’s post “Saving housing from the jaws of doom” for elaboration on this theme.)

In Europe, adoption of Passive House has become widespread, with 20,000 projects built to the standard, codification of the standard into building code, and a network of Passive House-savvy builders and suppliers actively engaged in transforming Europe’s built environment into a high performance one.

Things are bit behind here in the US, though not by light years… more like 10 years.  And today the Passive House movement is hitting hyper-drive in the US as heightened concern with rising energy costs and inspiration from Passive House’s European example gain traction.

Passive House Alliance US logo.So builders have become critical to Passive House in the US.  First as potential partisans who can promulgate the standard and its adoption.  But second, and perhaps more importantly, as professionals that can successfully realize the Passive House standard on the ground.  Our task in the Passive House community (and a key charge of Passive House Alliance US, of which Sam serves as President) is to ensure that builders understand Passive House and can build to the standard with precision.  Given the nascent state of Passive House here, nothing would be more damaging to the movement than a few highly visible failures due to shoddy construction.  On the other hand, nothing will propel Passive House further forward than well-built projects.

To that end, and on behalf of Passive House Alliance US, Hammer & Hand has been collaborating with our Passive House colleagues, particularly Graham Irwin of Essential Habitat Consulting in Northern California, to develop a series of builder’s seminars for the JLC LIVE Northwest 2011 Conference at the Oregon Convention Center this Thursday and Friday.  We’ll share Passive House fundamentals, airtight and thermal bridge-free construction techniques, and details about the role of heat recovery ventilators and high performance doors and windows in Passive House.  We’ll also share case studies presented by experience northwest Passive House builders.

“As we work together to build the national Passive House movement it’s critical that we bring builders and the trades into the fold,” said Sam.  “One of the most effective ways of doing this is for experienced Passive House builders to share their knowledge and on-the-ground experience with peers, both to demystify the standard and to help new practitioners avoid pitfalls.”

For a full list of presenters and schedule of sessions see this media advisory.  We’re honored to be spreading the Passive House word among our colleagues in the industry!

– Zack

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