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Passive house in oil country; mass timber, news/events

Last updated: 08-11-2020

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Passive house in oil country; mass timber, news/events

It’s easy to forget about snow or endless grey days this time of year. As we squeeze the most that we can from these last long sunny days of our short Canadian Summer, it’s hard to focus on anything more serious than a cool drink and summer hockey. Sunny days are common in Alberta, year-round. Calgary is the sunniest city in Canada with an average of 333 sunny days and 2,396 hours of sunshine per year, 52 percent of daylight hours are sunny. That is a month or more of sunshiny days when compared to Vancouver, Toronto or Montreal. In truth, all of the prairie provinces are blessed with an abundance of sunshine. The coldest days of the year are always (frigidly) sunny. This fact is an important aspect of the viability of depending on the Sun for renewable or passive energy on a small or massive scale. We often read or hear about building projects in far less sun-hospitable places. We do not hear enough about what is going on in the middle of Canada, the prairie sunbelt. At PBC we would love to hear more about prairie hardy buildings. If you have a project that you would like to highlight, please let us know about your good work. - K For the third summer in a row PBC is pleased to have a technical writer joining us to produce original articles on high performance buildings. Kourtnie Rodney-Brown is our 2020 tech writer and has a series of pieces she is working on including on hygiene ventilation, a few project profiles, an interview with a major PH builder and more.  Kourtnie kick's it off though with a fabulous look at PHAB below.  The Gospel According to PHAB: The Trials and Triumphs of the Passive House Movement in Alberta Oscar Flechas, Chair of the Passive House Alberta board and owner of Flechas Architecture, says PHAB was born in 2017, while working on the development of the Valley View Town Hall, a project Flechas’ firm was hired to undertake. The building was comprised of an approximately 850 m2, two-storey building with a basement, as well as offices, meeting rooms and support spaces. Completed in 2018, it was able to attain the first Passive House Plus Certification (PHI) for a commercial building in a northern climate and remote location.  The municipality was in need of a new building and although they were politically conservative, they were also fiscally responsible and so, economically speaking, Passive House was a great fit. “It’s not that Passive House has to appeal to hippies,” says Oscar, “it can appeal to those with a concern for operation costs by paying a premium upfront and saving money down the road.” Just before the project began, Oscar started a small social group that met monthly, but soon it shifted. They decided they needed to get officially organized, access grants and really spread the gospel. PHAB was born. Continue reading here. Boots on the Ground was founded on the principle of networking and socializing and we know that no virtual meeting can substitute for attending Boots on the Ground (BOG). We are looking into doing some video events and even being able continuing education credits for some videos and presentations.  Our planned September BOG, which was to be held in Guelph Ontario and co-hosted by Evolve Builders, had to be postponed but we are happy to share a BOG presentation from Ben Polley (from Evolve Builders Group) and Patrick Andres (Technical Lead for Resource Conservation with the City of Guelph) from our BOG in Kitchener in February 2020.  Looking for more BOG vids? You can find others here.  Boots on the Ground: When More (Insulation) is Less (ROI) "UVic has earned a Gold rating for the third time since 2014 with the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS), a self-reporting framework for colleges and universities administered by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education."   “'"To me, it is incomprehensible that very few of the mass timber projects built or under construction in the U.S. and Canada have been designed to meet the Passive House standard."   "The new building, which will add 145 new housing units in the city including 76 affordable units"    "The conditions for health-first housing retrofit are quickly coming into place."   This presentation was hosted by Renew (Alternative Technology Association trading as Renew Australia) -  a national, not-for-profit organization that inspires, enables and advocates for people to live sustainably in their homes and communities. The case study is a house in Ridgeway which, when certified, will be the first certified Passive House in Tasmania. View it here:


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