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Ready or Not

comments (1) February 25th, 2010 in Blogs
FPR Fernando Pages Ruiz, contributor

The materials paving the road to recovery.  Click To Enlarge

The materials paving the road to recovery.  

How many of you, standing back 10 –to– 15 years ago, would have imagined the total conversion in the building industry, not only accepting, but embracing and even  championing green causes? I am currently attending the Residential Energy Services Network's, otherwise known as RESNET® Conference in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Along with interest in all the government stimulus money aimed at energy remodeling, I see lots of genuine interest in formally far out concepts like the Passiv Haus. What’s Passiv Haus? It is German for, well… “Passive House,” and refers to a method of building zero-energy consuming homes developed in Darmstadt, Germany, back in 1990, when green was still a fringe thing in the USA (remember tree hungers and eco-terrorists?).

Fast forward twenty years, and the US Department of Energy (DOE) has firmly established a program to entice, and challenge America’s mainline homebuilders to construct net zero energy homes. The Builder’s Challenge, a program started during the Bush years, and similar, but not as radical as Passiv Haus, has already stimulated the construction of about 2,500 net zero homes as of February 2010. It focuses on residential. The Passiv Haus program includes buildings from homes and hotels to US army barracks (the U.S. army was among the to embrace the Passiv Haus concept for its German bases) that have no connection to the power grid by virtue of designing the building to exploit natural light, radiant heat, convection cooling, and, of course, alternative energy.

posted in: Blogs, energy efficiency, green building, weatherizing

Comments (1)

John316 John316 writes: My personal opinion as to why homeowners are slow to use the energy effecient ideas is that they are almost always more to significantly more expensive at build. And a lot of the upgrades seem that they lilewise can take a while to pay back initial expense. I don't know, but I wouldn't be surprised if the insulation in one of the passiv haus setup is one of the highest amount paid in construction. Please don't get me wrong. I really like to learn about energy efficiency and work very hard when doing business to perform the highest form of efficiency that is available to me. I am just providing a possible explanation in response to your post above.

The biggest thing for Americans to learn with houses is that bigger is not better. You can build a 1200 sqft house with 20 to 30 r in the walls and more in the ceiling and design the house for and install a wood burner and then you have eliminated the need for almost any forced air heating and depending on the stove, you can run water through it to heat it.
Posted: 9:13 am on February 25th

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