Monday, September 27, 2010

Passive House in the news

The New York Times had a big feature article on Passive Houses this weekend, along with an informative video about a project in Vermont. The article has brought a lot of great attention to the Passive House movement and apparently generated some buzz in the media. You can read it here:

The reason I know it's gotten attention is that it prompted Sustainable Business Oregon, a blog that's run by the Portland Business Journal, to call us today for an article on the growing popularity of the Passive House concept in Oregon. They posted an article today that featured our house:

I love the video and the informational graphic with the New York Times article -- they really help provide a clear picture of how Passive Houses work. They also mention that there are only about 13 Passive Houses in the country, and we're one of them! Here's a list on the Passive House Institute US website, if you're curious:


  1. the NY Times article is interesting, but as another blogger (who is building a Passive House put it) the increased construction costs do not need to be as high (15-20%) as the family in the article indicate. A half million dollars to build a house is still a lot of money - reguardless of the unique technology/building practices involved.
    The Sustainable Business Oregon article said you only paid a 6% premium... frankly that figure is more encouraging to others who might be looking into the Passive House building methods.
    I still think your house is a charming example of what can be done all while achieving some impressive energy savings.

  2. Peter,
    I agree, 15-20% is discouragingly high. It's unfortunate that it wound up in the NYT article, because many people are going to think it's a typical premium. We did it for only 6% more, like you mentioned, and that number will only go down as builders become more familiar with the PH building practices.

    I think eventually Passive House homes will achieve near price parity, as extra costs for insulation and sealing are offset by lower heating/cooling equipment costs.