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Homes for a Changing Climate

Passive Houses in the U.S.

"As the consequences of climate change become increasingly obvious, it also becomes increasingly clear that all of us, including every business, must find ways to reduce our output of carbon emissions. This is particularly true for the building sector, which through both operations and construction-related activities contributes a large share of carbon emissions to the environment—from 40% to almost 50% of total U.S. emissions, depending on how the sector is defined. Knowing this, we must decide how best to square our need for energy to build and operate our houses with the needs of our environment—and of our pocketbook. The Passive House concept—which can slash space heating and cooling energy consumption of buildings by up to an amazing 90%—represents today’s most rigorous energy standard and most compelling option. Thousands of homes have been built or remodeled to meet the Passive House standard in Europe. Widespread application of Passive House design principles and construction methods here in the United States would dramatically reduce our country’s energy use."

by Katrin Klingenberg, Mike Kernagis & Mary James

 

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