Many Good Reasons to Attend the North American Passive House Network 2017 Conference

Posted by Rob Nicely on June 01, 2017

You may be asking, “Why should I attend the North American Passive House Network conference and what’s in it for me?” I can answer honestly…a great deal. There’s a heightened awareness of the building industry’s ability to turn the tide of carbon emissions that are influencing climate change; and move to greater dependence on renewable energy resources. In 2010, the building sector accounted for 32% of global energy use; 25% of energy related CO2 emissions; 51% of global electricity consumption…And in the U.S. that last figure was 70%! Building-related emissions more than doubled since 1970 and are expected to double, or even triple again by mid-century.

Given these figures as a backdrop, we need to take responsibility for our role in reducing carbon emissions.

Passive House has been proven to reduce the energy demand of buildings by around 80%. We’re talking new construction, remodels and retrofits of every type of building whether residential, commercial or industrial. By significantly reducing the energy demand of buildings, Passive House can also help ease the transition to a grid supply based on renewable energy.

Cities and states around the country are not only incorporating Passive House standards into policies as a way to meet aggressive energy reduction (and as a result, carbon footprint) mandates, they are leading by example. At last year’s NAPHN conference in New York City, a number of cities, including Vancouver and New York, revealed that they are requiring city-owned capital projects to be designed to use at least 50% less energy than current standards dictate. And it wasn’t just the “plans” that were outlined at the conference, the “results” of completed projects and initiatives provided solid proof that these strategies work.

Innovations in technologies, materials and services are increasingly prolific, making Passive House more feasible, affordable and relevant than ever before.

Unless you live a building-free lifestyle, you need to be part of this conversation—especially if you’re in some aspect of the building industry. The conference is a venue for meeting, sharing and learning about actual, real and practical ways strategies like Passive House are changing the built environment. It provides a chance to talk openly, honestly and scientifically about the issue of climate change and the role of strategies like Passive House and renewables. Most of us at some point have learned to soft-pedal the issue, not boldly speaking up for fear of being perceived as hysterical or fanatic. It’s more critical now than ever to bestraightforward and honest about the science that proves the planet is in trouble.

The point is that there’s a growing movement to protect and preserve the planet. As part of the building industry, we have both a role and a responsibility to learn, lead and leverage all the knowledge, evidence and proven strategies at our disposal. Passive House is one that we know works.

Click here for more information on the conference.


Rob Nicely is the president of Carmel Building & Design. 

This blog was reprinted with permission. You can view the original post here.

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