The Passive House Network's (PHN) Executive Director, Ken Levenson and Audree M Grubesic, founder of Offsite Dirt discussed the growth and impact of the Passive House industry, emphasizing the importance of sustainable building practices. In 2019 Ken stepped back from management as co-owner of 475 High Performance Building Supply, and volunteering for Extinction Rebellion. Ken became Executive Director of PHN in 2020. He highlights the benefits of offsite construction and the need for sustainable materials in building envelopes, the need for continued advocacy and education in sustainable building practices.
The Icebox Challenge was discussed as a learning and teaching tool that demonstrates the effectiveness of Passive House buildings. The Passive House Network described the challenge, which involved building two boxes, one to Passive House standards and the other to code requirements, and filling them with ice to see which would melt more. The Passive House box melted 30% less ice than the code-built box, demonstrating the power of air tightness, insulation, and thermal bridge-free construction. The challenge was an awareness-building effort by Passive House Network's Rocky Mountain chapter, and was held in Colorado over the summer in several cities including Denver at Union Station. This drew so much interest and opened up additional education on this effective building practice.
Example of Ice Box Challenge in Seattle
The Passive House Network also held their annual conference in Denver, with a hybrid format of online and in-person sessions. The event aimed to make the conference more accessible and was successful in doing so, with over 300 attendees in person and under 300 online, one of these larger outcomes yet. The conference was a success, with a diverse range of sessions that covered technical and cultural aspects of sustainable communities. The Passive House Network offers various ways to get involved, including membership, chapter meetings, and trainings for professionals to become certified Passive House designers or consultants. For more information on membership https://passivehousenetwork.org/plans/individual-memberships/