Soft Shell, Hard Shell or Passive House? The North American Passive House Network 2014: Conference & Expo Comes to Maine

A Passive House requires a great building envelope with the absolute best thermal and weather resistant barriers. That sounds like a hard shell.

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Portland, Maine (PRWEB) September 03, 2014

Ahhh, late summer and the glory days of Maine. And here’s one last hurrah to usher in the beauty of autumn: the North American Passive House Network 2014: Conference and Expo will be held in Portland, Maine, on September 22nd to 23rd.

Think of Maine and one thinks of lobster. Some Mainers like hard shell lobster and tangling with nutcrackers; others swear by soft shell and finger pulling. Each have their distinct flavor and advantages. So which way is best? There’s a similar dilemma with high performance building.

New England builders have real weather to contend with: frigid winters, high temperature fluctuations and humid summers. Maine has the oldest housing stock in the country and 80% of our homes rely on oil for heat. New Englanders are a frugal lot; preferring to add another sweater to the many layers we already wear 24/7 in winter, than turn up the thermostat. Who wants to hear the boiler running all day anyway? Perhaps this is why Passive House has been so embraced in Maine – these are buildings that don’t need boilers.

A Passive House requires a great building envelope with the absolute best thermal and weather resistant barriers. That sounds like a hard shell. Yet buildings need to breathe and Passive Houses do so with controlled ventilation and advanced building materials (weather resistant yet vapor open), which sounds a lot like soft shell. But, Maine (and Passive House) is not all about lobster (or shell).

Make a trip to Portland Maine this September to learn about the future of low energy buildings: all climates, all building types: Passive House. This event offers pre-conference workshops, an Expo, an optional Lobster Dinner and a choice of two tours of local Passive House projects. Over 50 presenters from thirteen states and nine countries will be participating. Even those who don’t like lobster should be more than satisfied with the fare.


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