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International Conference returns to Darmstadt for anniversary of building standard 

(Press Release, Passive House Institute, 23 April 2016)

Darmstadt, Germany. A tried and tested solution is already available for buildings of the future: the Passive House Standard combines maximum efficiency with optimal comfort. How this works, was demonstrated by experts from all over the world on 22 and 23 April during the International Passive House Conference in Darmstadt. This event also marked an anniversary. For it’s 25 years ago that the world’s first Passive House building was built. I mean just a few kilometers away from the congress centre. Moreover, a brand new study, presented at the Conference. For it also proves the sustainability of the concept.
Passive house conference

Several buildings go passive house

tens of thousands of buildings throughout the world. That’s whether new constructions or retrofits, detached houses or office towers – have met the criteria of this highly energy-efficient standard.

“What started as an experiment 25 years ago in our city has now become an integral part of international construction activity,” said Jochen Partsch, Mayor of Darmstadt. “We are therefore very pleased that in the year of its anniversary the Passive House Conference returned to the place where this success story originated”.

Heating and Cooling

I’ve said before folks. That a third of the energy consumed in industrialized countries is used for building operation.

That’s mainly for heating and cooling.

So the Passive House Standard is essential. For it can reduce those costs by about 90 percent. This was mentioned by Dr. Wolfgang Feist. For he is the one who built the first Passive House building.

Prerequisites for this include an excellent level of thermal insulation. Also triple-glazed windows. Moreover a ventilation system with heat recovery. Then an airtight building envelope. Then a thermal bridge free construction.

“These principles were consistently applied in the prototype building in Darmstadt – and still today. For everything functions exactly as it did the first day,” said Feist.



Additional investment in a Passive House is usually recovered within a few years due to the low operating costs.

But heating energy consumption continues to remain low afterwards as well, of course. For building owners, this aspect is therefore of particular interest in economic terms. At the same time, this building Standard contributes significantly to climate protection.



So the International Passive House Conference in Darmstadt. I mean over a hundred speakers in total presented the latest projects and approaches for solutions which will make the building sector fit for the future. In the field of energy efficient building components, a special focus was on home ventilation. In addition. this year’s Component Award was also presented in this context. The regional focus at this Conference in the anniversary year was, among others, on North America, China and warm climate zones.

The lecture programme was complemented by several workshops and excursions to Passive House buildings in Darmstadt and the surrounding region. So it’s a visit to the world’s first Passive House in the city district of Kranichstein also took place.

In addition, all major manufacturers of Passive House components presented their latest products at the accompanying specialists’ exhibition. A Passive House forum offered a colourful programme. That’s with presentations and activities for building owners and other interested visitors.

The International Passive House Conference has been held annually by the Passive House Institute in different cities since 1996.

The event took place in Darmstadt again for the first time since the premiere 20 years ago.

Finally, this year’s Conference was organized in cooperation with the City of Darmstadt. So the Faculty of Civil Engineering of the Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences. Moreover, the University of Innsbruck. The Conference was held under the auspices of the Ministry for Economic Affairs, Energy, Transport and Regional Development of the German State of Hesse.

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