Urban Fold

Is America Ready to Embrace the Passive House?

They sound too good to be true: houses that remain a comfortable temperature throughout the year without traditional climate control systems. Yet 30,000 such homes have been built in Europe. Why haven't passive houses caught on in the U.S.?

"On paper, at least, the Ritchies’ home sounds too good to be true: an environmentally responsible house without traditional heating and air-conditioning systems that will be an airy 70 to 74 degrees on the coldest day of winter and the hottest day of summer, but use only a fraction of the energy consumed by a typical house."

"And yet it’s not some experiment or futuristic dream," writes Sandy Keenan. "Nearly 30,000 of these houses have already been built in Europe. In Germany, an entire neighborhood with 5,000 of these super-insulated, low-energy homes is under construction, and the City of Brussels is rewriting its building code to reflect passive standards."

"But in the United States, since the first passive house went up 10 years ago, in Urbana, Ill., only about 90 have been certified. Why aren’t they catching on here?"

Full Story: The Passive House: Sealed for Freshness

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