Actively Pursuing Passivhaus Enclosures

With high-performance curtain walls and windows, thermal bridge-free designs, and airtight building enclosures, more U.S. projects seek to achieve the rigorous European-based Passivhaus standard.

As the pursuit of sustainable, energy-efficient buildings continues to intensify, a more rigorous building design certification is starting to gain traction here in North America.

Originally developed in Germany in 1990 and well-established in Europe, the Passivhaus standard produces extremely low-energy buildings with high-performance, airtight building enclosures.

“One of the most effective and proven tools we have to drive down carbon emissions and reach a post-carbon world is Passive House,” say Bronwyn Barry and Ken Levenson, co-presidents of the North American Passive House Network (NAPHN) in Passive House Accelerates, an in-depth review of the standard’s development for residential and commercial buildings—called Passive House in lieu of Passivhaus—in North America.

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