A Focus on Covid-19

The North American Passive House Network (NAPHN) conference, #PH2020, ( running every Wednesday, 1 – 4 PM EST, June 24 – July 29, will feature specific efforts at examining the relationship between Passive House design, indoor air quality and specifically the transmission of viruses like COVID-19.

This focus marks a return to the roots of Passive House. While dramatic energy reductions were the climate imperative and headline, less appreciated has been that better indoor hygiene was also a key founding goal of the Passive House standard and that the criteria for ventilation and airtightness were concerned about improved health outcomes as well as energy efficiency. Today’s wake-up call, driven by our global pandemic, is an important notice to building owners, developers, and professionals of the inherent tools Passive House provides to support healthy outcomes.

In a session titled It’s About the Outside Air: Why Passive House Ventilation is the Invisible Hand of High Performance, scheduled for Wednesday, June 24 at 3 PM EST, in a general presentation on the scientific criteria, equipment certification and systems design – the presenters will review critical issues like ventilation recirculation and cross-contamination, that if not addressed properly, as is the case in typical construction, can be contributors to virus transmission, and how Passive House specifications deliver lower-risk solutions.

Then on Wednesday, July 15 at 3 PM EST, a session titled Why does Covid-19 Hate Passive House? Strategies to Mitigate the Spread of Viruses, will  take a serious look, in a panel discussion, at virus transmission, Covid-19 specifically, the science, the mechanics, and the implementation of controlling the built environment to minimize the risks to our health. It will debunk the myths and give attendees actionable information to help make buildings a true pandemic refuge. 

“Building design cannot outperform fundamental preventative measures like social distancing to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus”, said NAPHN President, and session panelist, Bronwyn Barry. “But founding Passive House principles and strategies do contribute to healthy outcomes. And we look forward to a lively discussion among panelists and attendees digging into the subject.” See the full program and register.