We’ve been keeping our eyes on the Passivhaus (or “Passive House,” depending on where you stand) movement in the U.S. for some time now. From an energy efficiency standpoint, we think that it’s an incredibly important, cutting-edge standard, which utilizes cutting-edge building science methodologies that can be extremely educational.
Some leading minds in the green building community have argued that the Passive House standard is imperfect, that we may be better off making several houses “pretty well insulated” instead of one house super-insulated, and that the energy efficient building standard may not be quite all it's cracked up to be. Whatever your thoughts on the standard, the point remains that it's an impressive standard that North American builders and remodelers could learn a lot from.
This short Passivhaus documentary (short enough that you could watch it with your crew during lunch time) provides a good look at the movement, from its origins in Germany to its current incarnations in the U.S. It covers not only key features of what define a Passive House, but the reasons that it's important, the story of its development, and a look at what comes next.
Whether or not you’re an advocate of the rigorous energy efficiency standard, we think that this documentary is worth a watch for builders, contractors, auditors, and homeowners alike, and also exemplary of good low energy building storytelling, which we believe is critical for spreading the word about energy efficient building and getting energy efficiency in buildings to a tipping point. Check out the documentary here and let us know what you think!