18 April 2013
Greetings from Frankfurt!
I arrived late last night to attend the 17th Annual International Passivhaus Conference. After a nap I took a stroll and found a nice café for dinner. As I was people watching, Günter Lang, an Austrian Passivhaus colleague strolled by and we had a very nice dinner together. I wanted to share one conversation he and I had.
We were discussing the growth of Passivhaus (aka “Passive House”) in the US and Austria. Austria is currently leading the world in Passivhaus per capita. I was describing how we were experiencing slow but steady growth in North America and that I felt in the next 5 years we will hit the inflection point that the other new Passivhaus Markets did with exponential growth coming soon after. Günter then said something that confirmed my worst fear. He said do not forget the downward growth that happens when you start getting folks using the name without the rigor. I expressed to Günter my fear that as North American Passivhaus successes by early adopters get better known that there will be people who see the Passivhaus brand as a way to make a quick buck and will use the name on all types of projects that are not Passivhaus and that this will hurt the movement. Günter then said, “it will happen, it does”.
This brought to my mind the clear directive, repeat this mantra “If it is not certified and commissioned it is not a Passivhaus.”