First Passive House in Canada is in Whistler
January 26, 2010
Austria House - showcasing energy efficiency building technology. A milestone has been reached in Whistler, as they celebrated the completion the Austrian Passive House with a “Gleichenfeier” (Austrian roofing party). Shell Busey recently toured what is to become the Austria House during the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
Built by the Austrian Passive House Group, this structure is an ultra-low energy building designed to showcase what's possible in terms of energy-efficient construction in Canada; so energy efficient that it needs no fireplace or heaters.
What is a Passive House
Referred to as a Passive House because of its unique design, which essentially allows it to heat, cool and ventilate itself. A passive house is a building in which a comfortable interior climate can be maintained without active heating and cooling systems. For all its energy requirements (light, cooking etc.) it uses about one 10th of the energy a traditional Canadian house consumes or, has less than half of the energy consumption of a Platinum LEED house.
The technology is based on highly sophisticated concepts for air exchange and circulation, thermal insulation, high efficiency windows and wood structure construction. The remaining energy requirements are mostly for lighting and house appliances. The necessary energy can be from renewable energy, if or when electrical power is either not available or not wanted.
Passive houses are well-established in Europe with over 17,000 existing passive units and a handful in the USA. This Austrian Passive House is the first one of it's kind to be built in Canada.
Austria House will be the headquarters for the ÖOC (Austrian Olympic committee) for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Whistler, and will be used by the ORF (Austrian public broadcaster) for its daily live TV and radio shows to Austria. Post-Games, Austria House will be handed over to the community of Whistler for use as a day lodge for the public and as a meeting and events space for various Whistler community groups.
For more information on Passive House technology visit www.austrian-passivehouse.com.