Will Passivhaus or passive solar be the best fit for this project?
One reader searches for the best way to build an affordable energy-efficient home
The question is whether Jason Kibbe really wants a house built to rigorous Passivhaus standards. or would a house designed around more general principles of passive solar design be more appropriate to his situation? Kibbe’s post at GreenBuildingAdvisor’s Q&A forum, and the subject of this week’s Q&A Spotlight, could be read either way.
Passive House (from the German Passivhaus) buildings must meet very tough requirements for air infiltration and energy use. As a result, this building approach has made only limited inroads in the U.S.
A passive-solar home, on the other hand, doesn’t have a specific performance requirement. The term suggests only a general approach to buidling and might mean different things to different people.
But whether it’s Passive or passive that Kibbe’s after, answers to his forum question break down nicely into a list of shortcuts to energy efficiency.
This all-electric home in Urbana, Illinois, was built to the German Passivhaus standard — a list of specifications that's becoming popular around the world as an energy-efficiency standard to strive for. Is this what our curious homeowner is after?