Green Building Myths

10 Green Building Myths by Green Building Advisor

1. New York City is an environmental nightmare
2. Walls have to breathe
3. Renovation is less expensive than new construction
4. Spray polyurethane foam creates an air barrier
5. Caulking the exterior of a house reduces air leakage
6. R-value tests only measure conductive heat flow
7. Air conditioned homes don’t need a dehumidifier
8. Efficiency Rating Labels On Appliances Account For All Types of Energy
9. In-floor radiant heating systems save energy
10. Green building helps save the environment

Passive House Sustainable Design

Passive House is a standard for ultra-energy-efficient, healthy, and comfortable buildings. Over 20,000 Passive House buildings, including offices, single-family houses, apartment buildings, and schools, have been constructed around the world. The standard offers a scientific approach to green building that is backed up by real-world data. Compared to typical buildings in the US, a Passive House building uses about 90% less heating and cooling energy. This dramatic reduction in energy use makes it feasible to add photovoltaics to create a net-zero or positive energy building.

Power Tower photo from Wikimedia

The Power Tower in Linz, Austria, is a 74-meter tall office building built to Passive House standards.

Urban Green Expo in New York will feature an educational program titled “The Active State of Passive House: European Perspectives on Implementation in North America” in September, 2010.

Building Green has an excellent article on Passive House buildings.

Some presentations from a Passive House conference in October, 2009 give more information about the details of construction.

See also:

New York Passive House

International Passive House Association

Passive House Institute US

Passive House Institute Germany

Passive House BKLYN