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Construction Tour: Passive House

Buildings account for almost 40% of carbon emissions in the US. Reducing emissions to slow global warming is something architects and builders can help accomplish, and buildings designed and constructed to the Passive House standard require around 80% less energy to operate than conventional buildings. The fundamentals of Passive House design are not complicated, and it is possible to keep the construction details simple. This construction tour of a single-family house will introduce the principles of Passive House design and demonstrate how they are addressed in this project, including the construction details employed to achieve the Passive House (PHIUS+ 2015) required envelope airtightness of .05 cfm50 per square foot of gross envelope area.

Presented by: Robin McGrew, AIA, LEED AP, CPHC, Architect, and AllenBuilt, Inc.


At the completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Explain the principles of Passive House design;
  • Describe and understand building envelope air sealing construction details;
  • Explore different products to use in envelope air sealing; and
  • Describe how blower-door testing measures envelope tightness.