Would You Like to See a Passive House Standard?
Greetings from Germany, where Fensterbau, the world's biggest window and door trade fair, kicks off a four-day run today. A leading topic of conversation here–judging by labels on windows and signs in booths–is the Passivhaus Institut. The organization has a whole-house standard, designed to bring energy consumption down to neglible levels, and apparently windows and doors can be certified as a passive house component.
I don't pretend to be an expert, but I had an introduction to the subject in Italy, where I joined a group of U.S. custom wood window makers who listened to a presentation about these new European standards while visiting Zuani, a tooling supplier. They expressed some interest in offering products that could meet the strict criteria, because they see an opportunity among architects and green building enthusiasts in North America who have already embraced the passive house standard.
What about you? Do you think a "passive house" standard would be beneficial for your business? That's our poll question of the week. And, of course, I'd like to hear more from you. Are you seeing architects and builders trying to build homes to these new standards? Have you been involved in such projects? Do you think the industry could benefit from a new energy performance standard beyond Energy Star or do you think we have more than enough standards already? Email me or post a comment and let me know what you think.
Survey Results as of 03/27/2012 :
Would you like to see a strict, passive house type window standard?
Our survey results suggest there's not a lot of enthusiasm within the industry to sell a "passive house certified" window. Some of the comments, however, indicate there is interest in the market for passive homes. My guess is that will strengthen, and increasing demand for the higher performance windows required for such structures. Will it be a huge market? I doubt it, but I suspect some companies will embrace it.
Of course, it is somewhat inevitable that performance standards will continue to become more stringent all around.