Passive House

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From Vienna to Pittsburgh: What’s the Fuss with the Passive House Movement?

In the past year or so you may have noticed that GBA has been quite supportive of the Passive House standard.  Why?  Well, designing and building buildings that use 1/10 the energy of traditional buildings is likely one of the best ways to reduce human’s contribution to climate change.  And as we are all about […]

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Passive House Conference 2017

Recently, the 21st International Passive House Conference 2017 was held in Vienna, Austria. In addition to the presentation of papers at the Passive House Conference, there were more than 70 exhibitors displaying products that help make the most energy efficient buildings in the world possible. Buildings built to the Passive House standard are very low […]

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Green Building Ninja Style: How the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Authority Snuck into the Passive House Game

State agencies have not always been a friend to green buildings. There are outdated building codes, unpredictable defunding schemes, and of course garden variety bureaucratic inertia. But out of the ashes has risen a dark horse, an unlikely but stalwart advocate for healthy and high performing buildings: the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Authority (PHFA).  What exactly […]

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Pittsburgh Pivots Towards Passive House

Pittsburgh has spent the last forty years greening its economy, initially focused on merely a shift from heavy industry to the less resource intensive health and technology sectors. This change was motivated by economic necessity, but also included public health concerns (if one more person references ‘hell with the lid off’ this author might revolt!). […]

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p4 Measures Compared to Green Building & Sustainable Development Certifications

At this point, almost everyone in the building world is familiar (if not intimate) with LEED, with emerging awareness of the Living Building Challenge, WELL Building Standard, and Passiv House.  BUT,  in Pittsburgh, there is a new framework in town, developed right here. You’ve heard “p4” tossed about as the next frontier of sustainable, urban […]

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Introduction to Passive House by Michael McCarthy

Michael McCarthy is a trainer with the Passive House Academy, and an international authority on the Passive House Standard. Michael visited Pittsburgh in December 2016 to lead a training for future Certified Passive House Designers and Consultants in partnership with Green Building Alliance and Passive House Western Pennsylvania. While in town, Michael gave a presentation […]

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Passive House Isn’t Just for Houses

The term “Passive House” has become more frequent in the green building industry, but there is often confusion about its application. Despite its title, the Passive House building standard can be applied to office buildings, schools, supermarkets, residences, and more. It’s becoming more popular and it’s happening here in Pittsburgh. What is Passive House? Passive House […]

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Green Building Alliance Receives Grant to Increase Passive House & Net Zero Energy Adoption

Green Building Alliance is thrilled to receive a $25,000 grant from the West Penn Power Sustainable Energy Fund to educate building owners about the benefits of net zero energy and Passive House methods, train students and practitioners for commercial sector implementation of these approaches, and deliver Certified Passive House Designer trainings through the Passive House Institute […]

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Craig Stevenson

Member Spotlight: James Construction

James Construction aspires to be a leader in the construction industry throughout Western Pennsylvania while being on the forefront of the growing need for building performance-oriented projects from energy-minded clients. James Construction, headquartered in Carnegie and founded in 1981, provides general construction and related services for health care, higher education, office/commercial, banking/financial, manufacturing, energy, federal government, […]

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Tips for Retrofitting to Passive House Standards: A Case Study from Thoughtful Balance

Thoughtful Balance, a sustainable architecture and design firm, renovated and retrofitted a former YMCA into the 84-unit McKeesport Downtown Housing – the first retrofit of this scale to be designed to meet Passive House Standards anywhere in the U.S! The 65,ooo-square-foot building was in rough condition, with aging systems and a 40-amp electric service that […]

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