We all hear words and phrases every day like: environmentally friendly homes, green homes or homes that make less of an impact. Have you considered what these ideas really mean with regard to your home?
The Passive House” has been the subject of conversation for quite a while now. It has been described as “Green Without Gizmos”. The seeds of the Passive House standard originated in the U.S. and Canada in the mid 1970’s and were codified in a central Europe standard for the first time in the late 1980’s. The “Passive House” has two basic goals, minimize energy losses and utilize passive energy gains. Houses built to this standard result in buildings that use precious little energy. More details on the history of the Passive House standard here.
By the way, minimizing energy losses is a good first step for reducing the environmental impact for much of the existing housing stock in the U.S. If you own one that is serviced by Baltimore Gas and Electric, they will help you minimize your energy losses with rebates of 50% of the cost up to $2000. See my post about the BGE Energy Audit Program.