Last Friday, Matt Lepri, a student in our cohort, attended the North American Passive House Conference. Matt is a sustainability fellow who focuses on sustainable building techniques in his research work with Dr. Sroufe.
Passive House is a new building design technique developed in Germany that captures solar energy and applies it throughout the building through use of high performance windows, innovative insulation, balanced energy ventilation, and thermal bridging. PH can decrease energy use in a building up to 90%.
Europe already has over 15,000 buildings that have been Passive House certified. The U.S. has been slow to adopt, but about 100 PH buildings, nearly all residential, are constructed or being built at the moment.
At the conference, Matt spent time with Craig Stevenson, executive vice president of James Construction, a regional firm that offers general construction, design-build and related services for Government, Civic, Healthcare, Commercial and Retail markets. A Duquesne MBA alumnus, Craig is a member of our MBA advisory board and an active supporter of the sustainability initiatives at Duquesne. Craig has offered to be a resource for Matt as he digs deeper into his fellowship work.
According to Matt, “Mr. Stevenson is one of the very few commercial contractors/builders in the country who has passed the rigorous training program, making him a Certified Passive House Consultant (CPHC). He is extremely knowledgeable in low energy building design techniques and spent almost every available minute in between presenters on Friday helping me understand the technical details of low energy and Passive House design.”
For more information on the Passive House Conference or PH, visit this website: http://www.passivehouse.us/phc2013/