Zack: Right! I gather that you’ve been doing some research around monitoring data. What are you finding?
Dimitris: It was about the performance gap for the PHPP in the whole world. I mean, we have been monitoring our retrofit project for three or four years, and the performance gap of the calculation is like 5 percent plus or minus, depending on the climate situation of each year. The same has been true in Mexico and in other countries with similar conditions. If you design well with PHPP, you’re getting a very, very small performance gap. It also depends on techniques applied. In Greece, I know for sure that it’s important to have shading elements in front of the south windows because the biggest problem, especially in Athens and southern Greece, is the cooling period, not the heating period. You have to be accurate in all of the steps, and the PHPP software that gives you a very good result. That’s the message of the paper.
Zack: The overall story about PHPP is that it has a very small performance gap between modeling and measured. And you’re seeing that is also true in hot and humid climates.
Dimitris: Yes, yes. Exactly.
Zack: Got it. Cool. You mentioned energy poverty as a driver for uptake of Passive House in Greece. Is there any governmental policy or do you see the possibility of governmental policy in the future that supports Passive House?
Dimitris: Very, very, very good question. It’s something that we’ve been trying to achieve for a lot of years. I know in Europe that we have the nZEB regulation, you know that? Nearly zero emission buildings? [Learn more about nZEB in our interview with Tomas O’Leary.] Each country has to build their own regulations depending on the climate situation of their region. In Greece, our government did nothing the last year about that. We have a software for energy calculations that’s not working at all.
So, we’ve had some conversation, some meetings with people from the government—from the technical part of the government, especially—and we’re trying to convince them that we have to renew the software materials and the regulations, as well. We have to implement new software, and it should be PHPP because it’s very cheap and it’s very easy.
So that’s our goal. At this moment, the government is not doing anything at all in that direction. It’s giving more money for oil or giving some money just to insulate with random materials outside the buildings. I mean, they’re giving money, but in the wrong directions. They’re investing, not in the future, but in the right now, in this time.
Zack: What’s on the horizon? What’s next for Hellenic PHI?
Dimitris: One of our goals and our biggest targets is to educate engineers and technicians and to build and to grow our network here in Greece because we believe that it’s more important to convince the engineers to believe in the concept than the client. I mean the client is not an engineer and does not understand. They understand only money and cold.
It’s not easy to convince him to adopt a new concept in his already-built home. So we’re trying to convince the engineers to have a better network and to have more projects all over Greece and Cyprus. That’s why, at this moment, we have 20 or 25 projects for the next two years with collaborators all over Greece and Cyprus. The next goal is to involve universities, technical universities, and to get them to adopt the concept. The National Technical University of Athens, one of the best technical universities in Europe, does not have even a lesson for energy efficiency or energy design or energy efficient building. At this moment, we are having some conversations and some meetings with some professors that we know, and we’re trying to convince them to adopt the training material we already have in the universities.
Dimitris: That’s our two main goals. Our third goal, as I told you already, is about the government. So, it’s the market, education, and government.