The North American Passive House Network Announces COVID-19 Pandemic to be a Focus at Annual Conference

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The conference on building industry energy efficiency will include the examination of how building owners, managers and designers can help mitigate the threat of indoor virus transmission.

The North American Passive House Network (NAPHN) conference, #PH2020, (http://www.naphnconference.com) running every Wednesday, 1 - 4 PM EST, June 24 - July 29, will feature specific efforts at examining the relationship between Passive House design, indoor air-quality and specifically the transmission of viruses like COVID-19.

This focus marks a return to the roots of Passive House. While dramatic energy reductions were the climate imperative and headline, less appreciated has been that better indoor hygiene was also a key founding goal of the Passive House standard and that the criteria for ventilation and airtightness were concerned about improved health outcomes as well as energy efficiency. Today’s wake-up call, driven by our global pandemic, is an important notice to building owners, developers, and professionals of the inherent tools Passive House provides to support healthy outcomes.

In a session titled "It's About the Outside Air: Why Passive House Ventilation is the Invisible Hand of High Performance", scheduled for Wednesday, June 24 at 3 PM EST, in a general presentation on the scientific criteria, equipment certification and systems design - the presenters will review critical issues like ventilation recirculation and cross-contamination, that if not addressed properly, as is the case in typical construction, can be contributors to virus transmission, and how Passive House specifications deliver lower-risk solutions.

Then on Wednesday, July 15 at 3 PM EST, a session titled "Why does Covid-19 Hate Passive House? Strategies to Mitigate the Spread of Viruses", will take a serious look, in a panel discussion, at virus transmission, Covid-19 specifically, the science, the mechanics, and the implementation of controlling the built environment to minimize the risks to our health. It will debunk the myths and give attendees actionable information to help make buildings a true pandemic refuge.

“Building design cannot outperform fundamental preventative measures like social distancing to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus”, said NAPHN President, and session panelist, Bronwyn Barry. “But founding Passive House principles and strategies do contribute to healthy outcomes. And we look forward to a lively discussion among panelists and attendees digging into the subject.”

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About NAPHN:
The North American Passive House Network (NAPHN) is an independent national non-profit educational organization, based in New York, and affiliated with the International Passive House Association (iPHA) and the Passive House Institute (PHI), located in Darmstadt, Germany.

NAPHN has chapters based in New Jersey (http://www.njpassivehouse.com), Washington DC (http://www.naphnetwork.org), the Rocky Mountain Region (http://www.phrockymountains.com), Minnesota (http://www.passivehouseminnesota.org) and Western Pennsylvania (http://www.passivehousewpa.com).

NAPHN supports the widespread adoption of the international Passive House design and construction standards, building science principles and protocols, as a critical response to our climate crisis - providing unparalleled effectiveness in mitigating climate disruptions and adapting to rapidly changing environmental conditions.

NAPHN is focused on the inflection point between policy and implementation. We partner with leading stakeholders across all building sectors, including governments, professional associations, manufacturers, owners, builders, labor organizations, and educational institutions – to make the transformation complete. http://www.naphnetwork.org

About Passive House:
Passive House is an international building standard and methodology, applicable to buildings of all kinds from office buildings to hospitals, new-build and renovations, that results in a dramatic
drop in operational energy use, and more comfortable and healthy occupants - meant to aggressively mitigate our climate crisis while providing resilient adaptation.

The Passive House Standard was developed by the Passive House Institute (PHI), an independent scientific research organization, located in Darmstadt, Germany, and includes specific requirements for energy use and comfort of occupants. The Passive House Standard is being successfully applied to thousands of buildings and millions of square feet around the world, from Boston to Beijing.

The Passive House methodology starts with reducing cooling, dehumidification and heating loads by focusing, not on gadgets and active technology, but instead on fully integrated durable passive building components, such as proper continuous thermal-bridge-free insulation, continuous airtightness, high-performance windows and doors, and ventilation that includes a high-efficiency heat/energy recovery core, carefully calculated, and all integrated with the entire architectural process of design and construction. http://www.passivehouse.com, http://www.passipedia.org

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Ken Levenson
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