With growing concern for indoor home health, rising energy costs and climate change, both builders and homeowners are turning to the Passive House building system as a viable, sustainable alternative to conventional residential and commercial construction. The Passive House system is based on the concept of passive design — that is, design that doesn’t use mechanical systems like heaters and air-conditioners for heating and cooling, but instead relies on making efficient use of sealed buildings, insulation, the sun’s energy and natural ventilation through careful design strategies. Passive House represents today’s highest green building standard and promises to dramatically cut an average household’s energy consumption and monthly energy bill. If you’re interested in learning more about how passive homes are influencing architects and helping to shape the building sector, then be sure to check out the Passive House Northwest 2013 Annual Conference coming up on Friday, March 15 at Seattle Pacific University. Co-sponsored by Hammer & Hand and NK Architects, the conference will investigate the ways that Passive House is propelling the built environment towards a higher and greener performance standard. Hit the jump to find out what’s in store at this awesome conference!

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A home built to meet Passive House standards boasts extremely energy-efficient spaces that are able to maintain comfortable climates without relying on electrical heating or cooling systems. The home instead depends primarily on the sun for warmth, capturing its energy in the form of heat. Airtight construction, energy-efficient windows, a super-insulated envelope and controlled ventilation all work together to optimize solar heat gain as well as the heat being generated by occupants. A homeowner on average will save up to 90% in energy costs, on top of ongoing expenses related to the installation and maintenance of heating and cooling systems. Moreover, a passive home’s air-tight construction and mechanical ventilation protects it from drafts and allows inhabitants to control indoor air-quality, curbing the spread of allergens and particulates.

Whether you’re a seasoned architect looking to learn more about Passive House or just have an interest in sustainable architecture, the conference is geared to almost every audience. There will be two workshop sessions: the main track, which will introduce Passive House design and construction; and the second, more advanced track, which will provide information on how to receive Passive House certification.

Interested in joining? Standard registration to attend the conference in Seattle is $95 for Passive House Northwest members and $155 for non-members. Hurry though, registration closes this Friday, March 8, and after that, late registration is $195.

If you can’t make it to Seattle, you can find highlights from the event via webinar. Organizers will be live streaming one of the two workshop sessions, and if you can’t make the live session, both workshops will be recorded and available for viewing later for both webinar registrants and live attendees. To join the webinar, registration is $70 for Passive House Northwest members and $130 for non-members.

This is definitely a conference you’re not going to want to miss. We here at Inhabitat are especially looking forward to hearing from leading eco-luminaires, including Earth Day founder and Bullitt Foundation president Denis Hayes; J.O. Dockx, director for energy at the Brussels Institute for Management of the Environment, and Katrin Klingenberg, co-founder and executive director of the Passive House Institute US — just to name a few!


+ Passive House Northwest 2013 Annual Conference

+ Passive House