Passive House

Hugh Lofting has been recognized by the Passive House Institute US as a PHIUS Certified Builder, and has a passive house under construction in West Chester, Pa. The PHIUS designation means the company understands passive house principles, has mastered craftsmanship techniques specific to passive houses, and can meet challenges specific to the North American climate. A passive house achieves overall energy savings of 60-70 percent through super-insulation and airtight building envelopes, highly efficient HVAC systems or energy recovery ventilation, high-performance windows, and moisture control. Passive construction does not employ active technologies such as photovoltaics, and can thereby be less expensive when the principles are used alone. According to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Challenge Home program, passive and active design principles used together can be the best direction toward Net Zero houses. “Hugh Lofting Timber Framing and HJLCMS has long been committed to energy and design efficiency,” said founder Hugh Lofting. “The firm has embraced the use of FSC-certified timbers, reclaimed and salvaged woods, and environmentally aware finishes. Attaining PHIUS certification demonstrates to our clients and colleagues that we remain focused on long-lasting, energy-efficient homes and buildings.” A passive house is heated primarily by passive solar gain and by internal gains from people and electrical equipment. Energy loss is minimized through super-insulation and an airtight building envelope. Shading and window orientation help to avoid heat gain, which limits cooling loads. Superior air quality and comfort are accomplished with a heat/energy recovery ventilator. PHIUS Certified Builders have passed a four-day training program and a written exam. There are 45 PHIUS Certified Builders in the U.S. HJLCMS presently has a passive house in construction in West Chester, Pa. that is seeking PHIUS Certification and another home under construction that is being built with passive house practices. About Passive House Institute US Passive House Institute US is a registered 501(c)3. The organization’s goal is to build a network of other organizations and individuals to share expertise, resources, and effort toward goals of energy conservation, sustainability, smart growth, systems thinking in design, and a higher quality of life for all. For more information visit http://www.passivehouse.us.