Still a mile high after Denver!

To everyone who attended, exhibited, and presented: thanks for making Denver the most significant and largest passive house event in North America so far. Counting our Saturday guests from the Colorado Renewable Energy Society, one-day attendees, and assorted special guests, we numbered nearly 500 happy and inspired people!

A quick summary —

We Are Fa-mi-ly! Joe Lstiburek reminded us of the rich North American building science history, and of some of its unsung heroes.

When Joe Lstiburek accepted the invitation to address our community, it meant plenty to all of us. And when he closed his address by counting himself among family, there were some teary eyes in the crowd.

Yes – Joe is family, he was one of those who started it all! Without him we might not be here right now…..lost superinsulated foam float foundations in the 80s?… can’t get over it. Thank you Joe for your leadership and determination! Thanks for letting Amory persuade you to not to leave the profession when things got tough! And thanks for reminding us of the rich building science past here in North America– to have a future one must know one’s history.

On the technical/tools front WUFI Passive debuted – the new passive design tool, new interface, new climate specific capabilities and output options, mother of all dashboards. The pre-conference workshop was packed, and folks left believers in the new tool. (WUFI Passive trainings coming soon—January 2013 in NYC—details coming!).

And of course two days of terrific presentations. Some highlights–

–       DOE endorsement of the PHIUS+ Passive House Certification and Challenge Home partnership

–       Achilles Karagiozis unraveling the reason behind 0.6ACH50 using WUFI simulation

–       Lots of multifamily developments around the country completed or under way: 2012 was the year when multifamily got on the map!

Developer and builder Chris Senior holds court during “The Business of Passive House” breakout. Senior, Sam Hagerman, Adam Cohen, Alan Gibson, Tim McDonald, and Prudence Ferreira rocked the session.

–       Climate specific discussions everywhere, measured results from Alaska and Minnesota to Louisiana.

–       Market unveilings such as the CERV, the North American designed magic box that promises to solve the climate specific mechanical systems requirements in regards to ventilation, heating, cooling and dehumidification all in one.

–       More components and exhibitors than ever, new products on the market for ventilation, windows, airtightness systems and more. More competitive pricing. All great news for designers and builders—and manufacturers: the market is growing!

–       Great news from the affordable sector: Under the leadership of the Housing Network Partnership, 7 affordable developers came together to build 7 multifamily projects in 7 different climate zones as proof of concept for the applicability of passive house in the affordable market. One project is about the start construction, two more are close behind waiting for funding.

–       An unprecedented research study under way in Ohio to determine cost effectiveness of passive house in schools; there is an opportunity for passive house to get adopted as new best building practices for all new and retrofitted schools in Ohio!

–       Education: Passive house is expanding to university curricula! Scaling up education will be a central topic in the coming years.

Amory Lovins presented an optimistic view for the future–if we play our cards right, life will be a carbon fiber bowl of cherries.

And of course there was the closing, which was really a great launch: So very happy that Amory Lovins joined us to tie all we do together and weave passive house into the big picture. Thank you Amory, your presence was very special. You are the original “inspirator” for a lot of us (including Joe). Your vision is the yin half to conservation and efficiency’s yang. We can peel back only so much… and bananas in Snowmass – that’s something!

What a conference, passive house community of 2012 – excellent work, congratulations, thank you everyone!

 

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