An American home-building movement in the 1970s innovated ways to trap energy in homes to reduce the cost of heating them, as explained by Wooden Window.
The strategy of a Passive House is to reuse â€œfreeâ€ heat to warm the home. â€œFreeâ€ heat is generated from all electrical and gas appliances such ovens, refrigerators, computers and light bulbs. To do this, the building envelope of a Passive House must be extremely well insulated and air-tight so that this â€œfreeâ€ heat can be captured and [retained] within the building.
Two documentaries now try to explain how it works and why the concept has been so popular in Europe but mostly ignored in America. Catch them both at the PHCA film festival on August 9th.
Perhaps someone could make it instantly more popular in America if they changed the uninspired name Passive House to something more like Independence House or Freedom House…or Ultimate-Super-Extreme-Big-Heat-Like-a-Soaring-Bald-Eagle-on-Thermal-Power House. I’d want that.
“Air tight” affordable homes of course have another interesting effect on security strategy. Filtering and measuring the air flow between a sealed dwelling and the environment could completely change air-quality governance and disaster planning.