Windover is proud to announce our newest Certified Passive House Builders! Manager of MEP Services Charlie Romano, General Superintendent Dustin Corbett, and Superintendents Drew Andersen and Diego de Leon have completed the intensive training and rigorous testing to earn this certification.
What is Passive House?
Passive House is a building standard that focuses on thermal envelope, energy efficiency, and comfort. The construction concept takes into consideration thermal heat gain of the sun, internal heat sources, and heat recovery to render traditional heating systems obsolete. Similarly, it uses passive cooling techniques to minimize the need for any cooling systems.
Using specialty windows and a highly insulated building envelope, buildings meeting the Passive House standard are able to regulate temperature using heating or cooling systems that are considerably smaller than conventional systems to provide a comfortable environment throughout the year. In fact, comfort for all living spaces is a specific requirement of the Passive House standard. Other critical requirements include energy consumption and air tightness.
What are the Requirements of Passive House?
Buildings meet the Passive House criteria through the implementation of the Five Passive House Principles: super insulated envelopes, airtight construction, high performance glazing, thermal bridge free detailing, and heat recovery ventilation.
Airtightness is especially critical and requires multiple onsite pressure tests throughout construction. The test involves blower door testing of the entire building as well as blower door testing of individual compartments within a building, such as in between units in an apartment building. It is recommended to test at several key points of construction to identify problem areas before it is too late to rectify – for example: prior to final exterior cladding installation, prior to drywall installation, and after duct rough in for mechanical systems.
“The result of this emphasis on the envelope tightness and the efficient transfer of energy through the ERV system is a substantially reduced heating and cooling load on the building, which in turn will reduce equipment sizes and energy consumption,” explains Charlie Romano.
Bringing Passive House to Harvard University’s Campus
The construction concept, which has been implemented around the world for over thirty years, is gaining traction as more and more projects are incorporating some or all of the Passive House standards. Windover is currently completing two Passive House renovations for Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The project is incredibly unique in that it combines the rigor of meeting Passive House standards with the challenges of renovating within Cambridge’s regulations for historic preservation. Our team’s expertise as Certified Passive House Builders has been invaluable during Windover’s first Passive House project.