Started by Amanda_931, November 01, 2006, 10:01:52 PM

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Still voluntary in Europe--new buildings can be built with no or very low (one puny little 1000 watt electric heater?) heating other than passive--and this was in a house built in Illinois--significantly colder than most of Germany.

Primarily using superinsulation.

Handful of links:

The third one is a report on an Illinois house that was built to those standards (the place has supplementary heat--a thousand watt electric heater (fast loading .pdf file):

John Raabe

Thanks for that link Amanda:

The Energy Design Update article ( is worth printing out. The most interesting thing to me about the house was using I-joist for wall studs to allow for 12" of insulation. Trusjoist has a pdf of the building details ( but they are only in German!!

Here is a detail that will help to visualize the construction.

In addition the house has 14" of foam insulation under the slab!!! The general guidelines for this superinsulated passive solar augmented house (built in a Chicago area climate) was that all 6 sides of the house have at least an R-56 insulation level! When you get to that level your heating requirements are very low and a simple electric space heater is all that is needed. That or bring in a couple of dogs!  :)

Follow-up: Even the homeowner and the German master of the system decided the insulation on this house was overdone. That said, it does have a great HRV that takes care of fresh air venting as well and heating and cooling (via earth tubes) - a German unit that is less expensive than the forced air furnace it replaces.
None of us are as smart as all of us.


I just clicked on one of the Google ads and found this:

got lots of (you must have a ticket but the tickets are free type of) "Webinars" on various topics involving PassivHaus concepts.

don't know why the ad isn't above this topic.