What is a Thermal Bridge?

A thermal bridge ‘free’ design is one of the 5 fundamental principles of Passive House design and construction. But, what even is a thermal bridge? Why are they important? And how do we go about reducing or eliminating them? We hope to answer some of these questions and more with this post, which has been adapted from the 2016 iPHA Factsheet “What is a thermal bridge?“, originally authored by PHI’s…



CASE Passive House Low-rise Multifamily Reach Code Delivers Results!

The California Codes and Standards team (CASE) released their final analysis and review of PHCA's Reach Code proposal and the results are truly remarkable! The summary findings show "In almost all cases, the EDR Margins achieved by the Passive House designs exceed the EDR Margin targets, and in most cases, the Passive House EDR* Margin is significantly higher than the target EDR Margins defined in the report." The report presented…


Reach Code Study reveals big opportunities to improve CA’s multifamily buildings

Passive House California (PHCA) recently submitted their first Reach Codes study to the California Energy Commission’s (CEC) consultant team charged with analyzing the cost effectiveness of all proposed code improvement measures. The study specifically looked at improvements required beyond compliance with the 2019 energy code, for a low-rise multifamily building, to meet the equivalent performance targets set by the international Passive House Standard. The study not only uncovered a gaping…


Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Feist | The Future of the Industry Post COVID-19

Prof. Feist is discussing Passive House, the role of science and ethics in construction and the future of the industry post-COVID 19. This is a recording of a presentation Prof. Wolfgang Feist held for members of the press on Tuesday May 28, 2020. After the presentation, there is a compilation of questions asked in two Q&A sessions. CLICK HERE TO START THE VIDEO PRESENTATION. Power Point Presentation: CLICK HERE Press…


The “Duck Curve” – What it is – Why You Care

The intent here is a simplified explanation of how and why our patterns of electrical usage create issues for utilities, how rooftop solar impacts those issues, and how energy storage helps solve them. Think “Duck Curve for Dummies”. Two important facts about electricity are important to the explanation. First, electricity must be used as it is generated. A limited amount can be stored in batteries but it cannot be compressed…


Durability of Building Fabric Components and Ventilation Systems in Passive Houses

Wolfgang Feist & Rainer Pfluger & Wolfgang Hasper The passive house concept specifically improves insulation of exterior building components, utilization of passive solar gains, airtightness and heat recovery from ventilation air. Reducing also heat losses from thermal bridges, the energy balance is improved significantly resulting in net heating demands lower than 15 kWh/(m2a) which is less than one-tenth of the typical heating energy in the average of existing buildings. The…



California’s All – Renewable Energy Future

[caption id="attachment_552" align="alignleft" width="480"] Figure 1. Renewable energy sources are incentivized with PER factors (Logo use with permission, PHI. Original Illustration by author.)[/caption] Introducing Passive House Plus and Premium If you’ve been puzzled by the proliferation of ‘net,’ ‘nearly’ and ‘almost ready’ Zero Energy definitions and standards and have wondered just how net or nearly they truly are, take heart.  The Passive House Institute (PHI) has introduced an equitable assessment…


Are the Energy Savings of the Passive House Standard Reliable? A Review of the As-built Thermal and Space Heating Performance of Passive House Dwellings from 1990 to 2018

David Johnston |  Mark Siddall |  Oliver Ottinger | Soeren Peper | Wolfgang Feist Abstract The Passive House (PH) standard is a voluntary quality assurance standard focused upon maximizing the health and wellbeing of occupants, whilst reducing space heating demand to a very low level. To meet the PH standard, well-defined criteria have to be met. However, given literature that suggests a ‘performance gap’ for energy savings, the question remains, how well…


Passive House Concept for Indoor Swimming Pools | Guidelines

The energy demand of indoor swimming pools can be reduced significantly by consistently applying the high energy efficiency approach of the Passive House concept. This not only contributes to climate protection but also entails savings for the financial resources of a municipality. These guideline documents summarizes the main research findings and provide recommendations to support the design, construction and long-term operation of highly energy efficient indoor swimming pools. PLEASE CLICK…


Passive House California 2020 Board Members

The Passive House California (PHCA) Board Retreat took place in Los Angeles, CA this weekend. PHCA welcomes the new 2020 board members. Board members from left to right in the picture: Xavier Gaucher, CPHD Jed Donaldson Jay Gentry Irina Tehrani, CPHD Sofia Siegel Christian Kienapfel, CPHD Rob Nicely, CPHD Colin Shane, CPHD Mike Horgan, CPHD Sophia Beavis, CPHD (not in picture) Ryan Hayes, CPHD (not in picture)