Homes for a Changing Climate

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Homes for a Changing Climate

Passive Houses in the U.S.

by Katrin Klingenberg, Mike Kernagis, Mary James

   Soaring energy costs and a changing climate are driving up demand for energy-efficient, healthy, and durable homes. How can a home builder meet this demand? How can a home buyer be guaranteed that a home will deliver dramatically lower energy costs and carbon emissions? Passive Houses are affordable, comfortable homes that meet the most rigorous building energy standard in the world. Far more than a checklist of green building options, Passive House design is a state-of-the-art, systematic approach to super-efficient construction that reduces space heating and cooling loads by an amazing 90%. Developed in Germany, the Passive House standard puts true carbon-neutrality within reach. Today. Ten thousand Passive Houses have already been built in Europe, but this approach to home building has only very recently gained traction here in the U.S.

   Homes for a Changing Climate examines nine of these pioneering U.S. projects, from coast to coast and from a wide range of climates. An introductory chapter explores Passive House principles and its integrated design approach to such vital elements as insulation, airtightness, and mechanical ventilation. The featured homes showcase the innovative approaches of the architects, designers, and builders who are building Passive Houses that meet the demands of a variety of climates. While accessible to the layperson, Homes for a Changing Climate also provides construction details that will be of great interest to architects, home builders, and building scientists.

Check out the review of "Homes for a Changing Climate" in Energy Design Update here (a .pdf). © 2009 Aspen Publishers. All Rights Reserved. To subscribe, call 1-800-638-8437.


Katrin Klingenberg is executive director and lead designer at e-co lab, a nonprofit community housing development organization. She and Passive House builder Mike Kernagis cofounded the Passive House Institute United States (PHIUS) to disseminate information about, and promote the construction of, Passive Houses in this country. She has designed and built several Passive Houses in the U.S. and consulted on numerous other Passive House projects throughout the U.S. and Canada. Klingenberg has taught building science and design studios at the University of Illinois in Chicago and at Urbana-Champaign and has presented on the Passive House topic at national conferences and abroad. She is a licensed architect in Germany, and she received a master’s degree in architecture from Ball State University in Indiana.

Mike Kernagis is construction manager and builder at e-co lab, as well as cofounder of the Passive House Institute United States (PHIUS). Kernagis oversees the construction process of e-co lab’s Passive Houses. Additionally, he provides Passive House best-practice training to homebuilders on the job site and supports educational initiatives through the development of seminars in conjunction with the local community college. Kernagis has been in construction since 1990. He received his bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.

Mary James is the editor and publisher at Low Carbon Productions and was previously the editor and publisher of Home Energy magazine for ten years. She completed a science journalism graduate program at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She also received a master’s degree in environmental policy analysis from the University of California at Davis.

Book Information:

Paperback, 100 pages, 8" wide and 6" tall.

Price: $25.00 (Includes taxes and domestic shipping and handling)

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