[Greenbuilding] Greenbuilding Digest, Vol 5, Issue 9

action jackson benigncraft at gmail.com
Mon Jan 10 07:47:47 PST 2011


hey folks -

fer my two cents on passivehaus:

AWESOME! now people can build homes to an inappropriate scale and have
little human physical connection to the outside environment. THAT will put
us more in touch with needs of the planet- surely!

look- I think we all need to be honest about the conversation we are having
here- if it is about SURVIVING on the planet - humans have done quite well
(in some of the most inhospitable places on the planet i might add) and not
only survived but CULTURALLY THRIVED there- using small scale -low tech
shelters of local natural materials to take temporary refuge from the
outdoors- where they LIVED.

if the conversation is about maintaining our lifestyles- then start the
number crunching- decouple yourself from the planet that sustains you
(because that knowledge will serve us well when we colonize mars) - and rock
and roll !

I prefer  the planet we have -

 but I respect the solutions in either conversation- I just think we need to
delineate clearly.

to borrow an adage from the foodies (who i think parallel us in many ways)-
stands to reason- food /clothing /shelter

*Eat food*. *Mostly plants*. Not too much.

Build shelter.Mostly natural.Not too big.



On Sun, Jan 9, 2011 at 3:00 PM, <
greenbuilding-request at lists.bioenergylists.org> wrote:

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> Today's Topics:
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>   1. Re: Aggressively Passive: Building Homes to the Passive House
>      Standard (Reuben Deumling)
>   2. Re: Aggressively Passive: Building Homes to the Passive House
>      Standard (Alan Abrams)
>   3. Re: Aggressively Passive: Building Homes to the   Passive House
>      Standard (John Straube)
>
>
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> Message: 1
> Date: Sun, 9 Jan 2011 08:54:58 -0800
> From: Reuben Deumling <9watts at gmail.com>
> To: Green Building <greenbuilding at lists.bioenergylists.org>
> Subject: Re: [Greenbuilding] Aggressively Passive: Building Homes to
>        the Passive House Standard
> Message-ID:
>        <AANLkTikr-PdM7RaXCgRKzqYO_TzpFTjPNFDGG1ApNBf9 at mail.gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
>
> Thanks for that tidy summary, John.
>
> But I have one question. You write:
>
> On Sun, Jan 9, 2011 at 7:53 AM, John Straube <jfstraube at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> >   A higher standard than the PH one is a NetZero energy house.  This
> takes
> > things further and sets a numerical energy target of Zero, considerably
> less
> > than the PH standard.
> >
>
> While I like both the Passivhaus approach--in so far as I understand
> it--and
> all its antecedents, my understanding of the piece that the netzero house
> adds to the mix is some onsite renewable supply, usually PV. To me this
> approach suffers from its own hyperbole and, at least in my limited
> understanding of how it works in practice, does a medium job of actually
> reducing the loads since the PV system can in principle and is often in
> practice ramped up to some pretty big systems. The implications for the
> grid, for peak, for load shifting are another piece of this that doesn't
> make much sense to me. Or am I missing something?
>
> Small, simple, & well insulated tend to win out for me, but I'm not always
> up on the newest definitions of these certification systems.
>
> Reuben Deumling
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> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 2
> Date: Sun, 9 Jan 2011 12:42:10 -0500
> From: Alan Abrams <alan at abramsdesignbuild.com>
> To: Green Building <greenbuilding at lists.bioenergylists.org>
> Subject: Re: [Greenbuilding] Aggressively Passive: Building Homes to
>        the Passive House Standard
> Message-ID:
>        <AANLkTik0_kQza5LO+XU+Q+HcyxyRZvT=7kWFTF3j1SQu at mail.gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
>
> <A higher standard than the PH one is a NetZero energy house.>
>
> yadda yadda.  what I see out there (as greenbuilding laity--not as an
> engineer) is convergence. Last fall, I had the opportunity to study the
> plans for the Net Zero Energy test house, designed by Building Science
> Corp--and--Lo!--it was in essence a passive house.
>
> Or vice versa--one could say that PH--which focuses on envelope design and
> internal systems--is the optimal platform for adding renewable systems to
> achieve net zero or positive performance.
>
> Anyway, speaking of the NZ test house--it shares with PH the same
> principles--air tightness, super insulation (by code standards), fresh air
> ventilation system, dynamite windows, and a killer job with mitigating
> thermal bridging.  Where it beats the shorts off of Passive House (based on
> their manual of standard details) is that it is carpenter friendly, using
> substantially conventional framing, with some complex but straightforward
> and consistent rain screen, air barrier, and exo-insulation details.  I did
> not get my hands on any of the energy modeling for this project, but I
> assume it was done on a platform that is analogous to PHPP.
>
> The greater commonality, however, is this: looking at energy design from an
> integrated, systematic, performance based POV, rather than a prescriptive
> approach.  To me, with 35 years in the trenches, this was the most
> important
> thing I took away from Passive House training.
>
> With regard to the deficiencies of Passive House for the US--please
> consider
> that PHIUS is a shoestring operation, basically created out of little more
> than the ceaseless and heroic energy of Katrin and Mike, and a few
> dedicated
> staffers.  If they had the money and the muscle of DOE behind them, they
> could resolve the discrepancies in ERV and window ratings, and so on. They
> could also tweak PH to account for the wide range of climates in the US,
> particularly in managing latent heat loads.  Instead, their limited time
> and
> resources are devoted to training and certifying projects.
>
> nevertheless, I am skeptical of all orthodoxy.  I like PH for a lot of
> personal reasons as well as professional, but if NZ can prevail, and really
> have a broad impact on design, amen.
>
> AA
>
> *Alan Abrams**
> Abrams Design Build LLC*
> *A sustainable approach to beautiful space*
> alan at abramsdesignbuild.com
> www.abramsdesignbuild.com
> *202-726-5894 o
> 202-437-8583 c
> 202-291-0626 f*
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> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 3
> Date: Sun, 9 Jan 2011 13:21:43 -0500
> From: John Straube <jfstraube at gmail.com>
> To: Green Building <greenbuilding at lists.bioenergylists.org>
> Subject: Re: [Greenbuilding] Aggressively Passive: Building Homes to
>        the     Passive House Standard
> Message-ID:
>        <05A84F55-EA12-4E60-9F57-D36CE8EC7346 at civmail.uwaterloo.ca>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
>
> All Net Zero Energy houses use some renewable energy on site to get to
> zero.
> There is no doubt that there are stupid NZE homes out there.  I know one in
> Texas that use a 16 kW array to get there. Insane. And I know several that
> use less than 4 kW to get there.
> I also know that PH does not reward small and simple  homes. There are PH
> houses of over 4000 square feet, which, because of the area based energy
> metric (120 kWh/m2/yr) means that it uses more energy than a code-built 2000
> sf home.  That is insane too.
> All systems can be gamed. Which is why none should be approached as
> religion or dogma, all need to be understood.
>
> I dont believe large numbers of NZE homes are sensible or a likely future
> for things like load shifting, peaks, paying for the grid, etc. Both PH and
> NZE can easily result in a misallocation of resources without careful
> thought.   I also dont think that the PH will be any more successful for the
> same reasons.  Until they adjust for the Canadian and US market, they wont
> be able to make much more of a difference.
>
> Small, simple, well insulated is a dam fine rule by me. But you wont get a
> label or ceritification for that.
>
> Check out Martin Holliday's recent blog on this topic at
> greenbuildingadvisor for some good thoughts.
>
>
> http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/blogs/dept/musings/net-zero-energy-versus-passivhaus
>
>
>
>
> On 2011-01-09, at 11:54 AM, Reuben Deumling wrote:
>
> > Thanks for that tidy summary, John.
> >
> > But I have one question. You write:
> >
> > On Sun, Jan 9, 2011 at 7:53 AM, John Straube <jfstraube at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> >   A higher standard than the PH one is a NetZero energy house.  This
> takes things further and sets a numerical energy target of Zero,
> considerably less than the PH standard.
> >
> > While I like both the Passivhaus approach--in so far as I understand
> it--and all its antecedents, my understanding of the piece that the netzero
> house adds to the mix is some onsite renewable supply, usually PV. To me
> this approach suffers from its own hyperbole and, at least in my limited
> understanding of how it works in practice, does a medium job of actually
> reducing the loads since the PV system can in principle and is often in
> practice ramped up to some pretty big systems. The implications for the
> grid, for peak, for load shifting are another piece of this that doesn't
> make much sense to me. Or am I missing something?
> >
> > Small, simple, & well insulated tend to win out for me, but I'm not
> always up on the newest definitions of these certification systems.
> >
> > Reuben Deumling
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Greenbuilding mailing list
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>
> Dr John Straube, P.Eng.
> Associate Professor
> University of Waterloo
> Dept of Civil Eng. & School of Architecture
> www.buildingscience.com
>
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> End of Greenbuilding Digest, Vol 5, Issue 9
> *******************************************
>



-- 
Cheers,
Joshua Thornton
Founder/Director naturalbuild.ca
519 387 8787
info at naturalbuild.ca
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