With Passivhaus growing exponentially around globe, NK visits Vienna

NK’s Brandon Nicholson, Tim Weyand, and Jim Bischoff are in Vienna for the next few days to take part in the Passivhaus Institut’s gathering of international Passivhaus experts and leaders. Brandon will present his paper about the Pittsburgh-based ROCIS Initiative and how Passivhaus buildings protect occupants from outdoor air pollution.

The Vienna conference comes at a time of explosive growth in Passivhaus design and construction around the world.

Energy & Building Journal pegs the number of Passivhaus projects at well over 150,000 in Europe. What’s more, the entire European Union is set to require Nearly Zero Energy Building (essentially Passivhaus) for all new buildings by 2020.

China has taken notice of both the emissions reductions and indoor air quality benefits of Passivhaus and is poised to become a global leader. Passive House Institute US’ Katrin Klingenberg recently keynoted at the 3rd China Passive Building Summit in Shanghai, and observed:

“The Chinese have taken a surprising global lead in fighting climate change and have identified aggressive conservation goals for buildings as a valid strategy. At the rate China is going, I expect it will bring Passive building to the mainstream before the U.S. does because they have the political will, effective materials and components, knowledge of building science and energy modeling, and cost-effectiveness strategies to get there.”

As is true for all things climate-related, if China moves on Passivhaus that will a big deal for the global movement toward Zero Net Carbon Buildings.

Meanwhile, exponential growth continues apace in North America. According to Pembina Institute’s Dylan Hereema, the number of Passivhaus units in North America quadrupled last year. Read more Passivhaus findings from Pembina in their excellent report.

These are exciting times in Passivhaus design, and we NKers are eager to take in the insights that Brandon, Tim, and Jim bring back from their European Passivhaus sojourn.