Passive House Institute launches ‘cost-effective’ passive building standard

The group says the building energy performance target is in the “sweet spot” where cost effectiveness overlaps with aggressive energy and carbon reduction.

March 29, 2015 |
Passive House Institute launches ‘cost-effective’ passive building standard

The Orchards at Orenco is currently under construction in Hillsboro, Ore., includes 57 units, making it the largest precertified Passive House building to date. Rendering: REACH Community Development

PHIUS (Passive House Institute US) launched the new PHIUS+ 2015 passive building standard on March 25.

PHIUS says the building energy performance target is in the “sweet spot” where cost effectiveness overlaps with aggressive energy and carbon reduction. It promises to ignite tremendous growth in the application of passive building principles, the organization says.

Formally known as PHIUS+ 2015 Passive Building Standard: North America, the standard is the product of nearly three years of research conducted by PHIUS in partnership with Building Science Corporation under a U.S. Department of Energy Building America grant.

The effort employed the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s BEopt tool (for cost-optimizing) to develop optimized design guidelines for use in North America’s wide-ranging climate zones.

Passive building has gained great attention in recent years, but the adoption of passive principles—superinsulation, airtight envelope, energy recovery ventilation—has been slower than hoped because of cost and other disincentives. The new formula and standards remove those obstacles, PHIUS says.

Overlay Init