New Climate Bill to Accelerate Phius-Certified Passive Home Adoption Driven by Need for Extreme Weather Resilience
Climate-Related Severe Weather is Now Commonplace, Pushing Homeowners to Look for Solutions, Adaptability and Preparation
CHICAGO, August 19, 2022 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — As communities face wildfire smoke, power outages, and extreme heat this summer, US infrastructure is not equipped to protect us. Federal tax credits soon to come from the newly passed Inflation Reduction Bill aim to reduce the cost of environmentally-friendly changes and set the stage for widespread adoption and Phius-certified passive homes are emerging as a model for how to adapt. Phius (Passive House Institute US), a non-profit and locally tailored, globally applicable passive house building standard accounting for the vast majority of all passive projects in North America, has certified more than 7.4 million square feet of passive building projects that are optimized for adaptability and resilience as climate change redefines living standards.
For example, as residents in Houston struggle with rising temperatures and potential for loss of electricity, the Fly Flat infill pocket neighborhood, designed with ever-unpredictable and more extreme weather in mind, integrated Phius passive house standards to be ready. The housing project, led by a student-driven design team, utilized modular home designs and implemented energy-outage prevention tools such as community solar and FEMA 499 strategies to design weather-resilient homes the community can thrive in for years to come. New federal tax credits will reduce the cost of solar panels and other necessary tools for preparing the homes for resilience – putting more funding back to the neighborhood.
Theresa Passive House is another Phius-certified project that “weathered” last year’s snowstorm and this year’s summer heat in Houston, Texas with comparable ease, enjoying a key benefit of passive buildings — the ability for the home to maintain internal temperatures for longer periods of time, even without heating and cooling. Located next to a busy highway and train line, filtered, clean air inside was a priority. Today, the ERV circulates fresh, filtered air and a dehumidifier minimizes excessive moisture.
In California, Sol Lux Alpha, developed by John Sarter, is the first Phius-certified passive house with a multi-unit nanogrid structure introduced in the U.S. housing market. This six-story, four-unit housing development offers carbon-neutral living plus a transportation system! Inhabited units generate twice as much energy as they consume. Excess energy is sent to the grid, where it can be reused for EV charging – another increasingly important perk of building to Phius standards as the electric car market heats up and tax credits emerge, especially in a state where the grid is already struggling to keep up with demand during peak summer hours.
And, when wildfire smoke fills the air, one family in Seattle, Washington will breathe easy in their Phius-certified passive home, named Park Passive. The home uses an advanced HVAC system to provide the home with continuous filtered fresh air – even when the air outside is thick with smoke from nearby fires. At the first sign of smoke, the family closes all windows and doors and lets the house take over from there.
“These homes all share mitigation of climate change and adaptability as a result of climate change designing and building for resilience, habitability and passive survivability during power outages, fires, and other climate-driven events,” said Katrin Klingenberg, executive director of Phius. “In certain regions, this provides a way forward for building and home design that offers an even more important outcome: reducing electricity load for heating and cooling – critical during heat waves.”
Images of the projects are available HERE. Visit http://www.Phius.org for more information.
Phius is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization committed to decarbonizing the built environment by making high-performance passive building the mainstream market standard. We train and certify professionals, maintain and update the Phius climate-specific passive building standard, certify and quality assure passive buildings, certify high-performance building products and conduct research to advance high-performance building.
Jennifer Ritchie, Phius, 1 206-354-8049, [email protected]
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