Is Efficiency a Renewable Energy?

Recently, the International Passive House Association (iPHA) and the North American Passive House Network (NAPHN) have introduced the concept that “efficiency is the first renewable energy”. For several years, we have been told that “the least expensive energy is the energy we don’t use.”  From a technical perspective, neither phrase is accurate, but if you compare the relative outcomes of employing renewable energy versus applying energy efficiency measures, they are…


Passive House Air Quality

Passive House buildings rely on a constant supply of filtered fresh air, provided by a heat or energy recovery ventilator (HRV/ERV). Fresh air is delivered to the primary living areas, and stale air is exhausted from the “wet” areas—bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms. (Note—the kitchen exhaust is not a replacement for a properly-sized range hood.) There are several important characteristics of this equipment: Fresh air is delivered and stale air…


Municipal Green Building Conference and Expo (MGBCE) 2021

Passive House California (PHCA) has a virtual booth at MGBCE 2021. Any questions about the international Passive House construction standard please come and visit us or just stop by to say hello. The time is now! Join us virtually at MGBCE 2021! This year the community and conference are coming together online to build a greener future for all with action-oriented sessions, interactive expos, workshops, and more. Learn more about our…


How does a 10% change in efficiency have a 100% impact?

“Value engineering” is a term that is familiar to those involved in the design and construction of buildings and generally involves the substitution of a specified component or system with an alternative solution that is similar, but less expensive. Consider the following: A building is designed to include a heat recovery ventilation system (HRV) in order to provide a balanced exchange of continuous fresh air to the occupants and, at…


Passive House Residential Ventilation in California

Passive House residential ventilation seems like a fairly straightforward topic on the surface. You install a whole-house heat-recovery ventilator (HRV) or energy-recovery ventilator (ERV), exhausting stale air from the wet areas of the house and supplying fresh air to the primary living and sleeping areas. (I’ll use the term HRV to represent both types of equipment throughout the remainder of this article). Unfortunately, the Passive House design guidelines don’t always…


We want to see your Passive House Projects in California

We want to know about your Passive House (PHI) building or project located here in California — in planning, under construction or recently completed. Passive House California (PHCA) wants to spread the good news about the Momentum we are seeing on the West Coast in recent months. Here is how you can contribute and be part of the movement. Provide us with a virtual video tour of your completed Passive House building. Provide us with a virtual…



Vote Now! PHI Certified Passive House Buildings nominated for the Green Solutions Awards

International competition run by the Construction21 network, the Green Solutions Awards highlight exemplary solutions integrated into buildings, districts and infrastructures contributing to the fight against climate change. Here are the Passive House nominations: Good Energy Haus (USA) Scott Subaru – Car Dealership (Canada) Old Holloway straw passivhaus (UK) King Street, Great Yarmouth (UK) GAP Energy Efficiency and Consultant Incubation Center (Turkey) Charter Telecom Headquarters (Canada) Parkview House (Canada) Owl Woods…


How is a Firefighter’s “Protective Gear” like a Passive House?

How is a Firefighter’s “Protective Gear” like a Passive House? We are all aware of wildfires here in California — and grateful for the thousands of Firefighters who risked their lives battling those wildfires. They put themselves in environments where they need to be protected from the extreme heat, winds, and unhealthy air full of smoke and other pollutants. Fortunately, they are kept safe “inside” of their personal equipment (PPE).…