Comfortable, quiet, dust-free: qualities that people care about

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You’ve heard me talk about it again and again. The market–most consumers–aren’t as passionate about the energy performance of buildings, of homes, as you and me are. And for far too long we’ve ignored that.

Family in a Passivehaus

Photo Credit: The Modern House

To reinforce that point, here’s a quote from the owners of a Passivehaus, a home meeting a very high standard of verified performance for us energy nerds:

“Although we are pleased by how it looks, the main benefits of the house are that it has improved our sleep, we don’t have any draughts, it’s quiet and feels calm, temperatures are stable, and we have very little dust.”

A lot of angles in there. Energy use isn’t at the top of the list for these folks. Nor for most others. Remember that, and you’re sell a lot more energy-efficiency.

See the full article, “My Modern House: architects Anna and Russel Hayden on building a Passivhaus for comfort and wellbeing

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About the Author:

Mike Rogers is the President of OmStout Consulting. A nationally recognized expert in residential energy-efficiency, he works with contractors and programs to scale sustainable market approaches to improving homes. More on Google+


  1. Jeffrey Geibel APR, LEED-AP  March 20, 2018

    The house depicted is rather stark in its architecture – something the Europeans seem to prefer.

    Selling energy efficiency is perhaps best done the same way any house investment is sold – emphasize the impact on resale value.

    As designed-in efficiency becomes more common (and required by code) – energy efficiency features are a way to “future proof” the value of the property. This became obvious starting in about 2009 when LEED Silver became the national defacto building (or specified) code standard.

    That being said – there is a limit. I was told by some technicians that the super-efficient multi-function boilers are so sophisticated they need annual service, and seldom make it to 20 years. In contrast, my prior boiler (1960’s technology) made it to 50+ years. I simply replaced it with a standard atmospheric unit. The ROI becomes difficult to hit with declining costs of natural gas – another factor to consider.

    That famous house rehab television program put a stainless-steel multifunction unit in a project house. I looked it up – the manufacturer went out of business shortly thereafter – lots of QC problems (apparently stainless steel fabrication is difficult) – so no repair parts, and probably no trained technicians available. Not a good ROI

    Jeffrey Geibel APR, LEED-AP

    • Mike Rogers  March 20, 2018

      And that points to one nice thing about the Passivehaus: the mechanical technology can be fairly basic. The heating plant matters less because the load is so low.

      Re: the architecture, yes, it’s a European example. Doesn’t have to be, though. There are North American Passive Houses that look like what most people here would call houses!


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