Superpod director and APHA member Fiona McKenzie was pleased to attend the New York Passive House conference on 17 June 2014, with a workshop run by Tomas O’Leary on 16 June 2014. Both great events!

One highlighted issue was the immense importance of passive house to the world’s climate. Diana Urge-Vorsatz from the Centre for Climate Change and Sustainable Energy policy (3CSEP) Central European University said that buildings account for 30-40% of the world’s carbon emissions. To change the trajectory of our disastrous global warming we should change all our building practices to become passive house compliant now. Every inefficient building we build, every inefficient retrofit, locks us in to increased global warming for decades.

Brussels is mandating passive house construction next year.

Local New York architect Chris Benedict, and engineer Lois Arena, gave fantastic presentations on passive house high rise construction. Lois Arena also spoke about ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ aspects of the PHPP – which was very insightful. While rigorous, there are some flexible aspects of the passive house design system.

Gunter Lang gave an inspirational snapshot of some projects around the world.

A fabulous array of products, including windows of course, was there on display. Unfortunately many of these are not readily available in Australia. However, we can still build passive houses here!

For a brief article on the conference, published in the New York-based Commercial Observer, click here.