I had the pleasure of attending parts 1 & 2 of Dr. Guido Wimmers’ training in Passive House design. It was easily one of the best courses I’ve taken, anywhere, and deepened my insight into how to create a truly resilient home.
I was compiling a post about this experience when ice storms battered the eastern provinces, devastating people’s homes and psyches. The storms moved on into Newfoundland and caused a total blackout, then headed to Iqaluit and the rest of Baffin Island. Those communities suffered hurricane-force winds, white-out blizzards, power outages and severe building damage.
In the face of climate change, it’s time to upgrade North American standards of home design and building. A resilient home is one that can withstand a range of potential challenges and forces outside of our control. It’s energy-efficient and built to last; offers warmth and safety during extreme weather events; and buffers the effects of economic uncertainty. Also, it reduces GHGs, the cause of climate change, which in turn has led to the kind of extreme weather events we’re witnessing.
A Passive House offers resilience, retaining its liveability even in a week-long power outage. It’s more durable than standard construction and costs not much more, as I learned in the PH training. Building to the Passive House standard eliminates the need for a heating system. The resulting savings on your energy bill offsets the increase in mortgage payments from the 5-10% increase in construction costs.
I came away from the training determined to make our Damn-Near Passive House project in Kaslo even more resilient. Stay tuned here for updates.