PASSIVE HOUSE HISTORY
Passive house building boom indicates a low-carbon future could be closer than we believe. However, where it all started? Regardless of the evolution of energy-efficient houses being a more modern notion triggered by higher energy costs, energy-efficient buildings haven’t only been constructed in the past several decades. In most climate regions of the world, if buildings have been”sensibly” built, no heating is necessary, and neither is active cooling. Passive Houses have always been built there, even though they were not called such. But in colder climates, a warm house is critical, protecting the people from the cold weather. These various situations demand different strategies, and countless decades of building experience have yielded a broad range of solutions to the issues introduced.
Throughout the 1970s, more direct studies started to emerge around the concept of low energy homes. Various research institutes assembled test houses to experiment with various technology aimed at enhancing energy efficiency. Formally speaking, passive houses first came into existence in 1990.
However, in Canada and the United States, the concepts of high-performance windows, superb insulation, airtight envelopes, energy recovery ventilation, and controlling solar gain originated years ago.
Canada’s early involvement in energy-efficiency study at this stage included the Saskatchewan Conservation House, constructed in Saskatoon in 1977. Other significant experimental structures included the Rocky Mountain Institute (USA), The Philips Experimental House (Germany), along with DTH House (Denmark). The simple fact prompts these and other projects that 30% of global energy consumption went into the heating and cooling of buildings. Each one of these projects was a very first step in the right direction, and ever since that time, attention has continued to rise. The constructive perspective is looking forward.
Together with the scientific understanding, we have today, we can use technology sustainable and wise, which will meet our requirements and won’t demand unsustainable resources and will not alter the natural energy and material flow a lot. Nowadays, larger Passive House developments in cities such as New York, Kansas City, and Vancouver are a fantastic example of that. The City of Vancouver’s leading-edge Zero Emissions Building Plan involves a 90% decrease in emissions from new buildings by 2025 and reaching zero emissions to all new buildings by 2030.