At ACI, lots of passive house

On the road again. This time to Baltimore for the ACI National Home Performance Conference. We’ll be there, sharing a booth (number 522) with Elysian Energy. If you’re planning to attend, please come by and see us!

Also, at NESEA BE12 in Boston, we tried something new: I led a trade show floor tour of exhibitors who offer components and materials for passive house design and construction. For members of the passive house community, it was a fast, efficient way to get a look at passive house wares on display.

The tour was extremely well-received (I ended up doing two of them). So we decided we’ll do the same at ACI. I hope you can join us – just meet at Booth 522, Wednesday, March 28, at noon. We’ll embark from there.  Meantime, here’s a bit of a virtual view of what we’ll be looking at:

ACT Inc D’MAND Systems
The next big thing is multi-family passive buildings. The challenge in those: meeting the source energy demand. Hot water usage is high and contributes to a lot oflosses along and with them heat gains in a scenario already dominated by internal load. Minimizing such is important to minimize energy use and to reduce cooling needs in a multi-family Passive Building. The on-demand recirculating hot water pump is one really good way to go

Applegate Insulation, FiberAmerica , GreenFiber, National Fiber
A little a while ago a discussion emerged over if and how embodied energy of insulation materials should be accounted for in a passive house energy balance. As superinsulation requires more material, it is my personal opinion that choices of materials with very low embodied energy are a safe, sound and environmentally good practice. Cellulose has one of the lowest embodied energies and is only beaten by – you guessed it – straw bale. Cellulose is also a safe choice when it comes to the hygrothermal wall performance of a superinsulated wall. Superinsulation means very little heat loss from inside into the wall, therefore less drying potential for the wall and colder exterior sheathing surfaces, presenting potentially a higher risk for condensation. Cellulose can mitigate some moisture that might occur, is more forgiving than other materials and if the wall was designed in a diffusion-open fashion as it should be for a Passive Home, then potential moisture in the wall will dry out again in the in-between seasons.”

CertainTeed Corporation, Johns Manville 
PHIUS’ affordable housing developer Ecological Construction Laboratory used for all its Urbana, Ill., projects high density blown-in fiberglass insulation – BIBS. After 9 years the first house was reexamined with an infrared camera. It looked like it did on day one. We have been very happy with the R-value, no settling and of course the cost effectiveness of this product! BIBS is an excellent choice.

Earth Advantage Institute
Earth Advantage Institute is as of last month a PHIUS partner in delivering the Certified Passive House Consultant (CPHC) training. EAI is intending to offer training in a large area: the Pacific Northwest including British Columbia and California. EAI has earned a great reputation for its vision, first-rate educational programs and instructors and a first of its kind carbon score system for homes.

Intus Windows
Intus windows are a very cost-effective European window solution. Manufactured in Lithuania, they offer the same European quality of high performance frames, glazing, airtightness, multi-lock hardware as well as cool moderate climate verification for their frame through the European PHI. All at a slightly more affordable cost than other competitors. The two young entrepreneurs who are driving Intus forward in the United States are both Passive House enthusiasts. On the horizon: they are working on establishing a factory located in the United States to manufacture their product locally. I am looking forward to that day. The smartest thing we can do is ship the recipe for excellent technology across the ocean instead of the whole window. Intus Windows is

also distributing the Schueco Passive House curtain wall system (cool moderate climate verified).”


The Energy Conservatory
The man and the company who brought us the Blower Door, the Duct Blaster, and now the Flow
Blaster. Say no more.






2 thoughts on “At ACI, lots of passive house

    • Cameron,

      Glad it was useful! Hopefully we will be able to keep doing these tours at trade shows! We video taped the ACI tour which happened yesterday at noon and after editing and approval by the companies who participated, we will be posting the 5-minute interviews on the website.

      Some of them were “delectable” passive house geek food: you go to a booth and the sales rep knows exactly what you are looking for in terms of passive house properties and more, like as it happened at the Energy Conservatory booth. iPad controlled blower door fan speeds, and app in the coming.

      Awesome, these tours are way too much fun…

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