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It’s Been Five Years!

Happy birthday to us! This month marks the Accelerator’s fifth trip around the sun, and we are still in awe of the growth we’ve seen in the last five years. It is truly astounding what you can accomplish when you have such a supportive community of people who share your goals, enthusiasm, and tenacity, and we gratefully acknowledge that every milestone that we’ve achieved is due to those who have been willing to contribute to this endeavor. This includes everyone who attends our events, listens to our podcasts, reads our stories and newsletter, as well as the many people who make everything happen behind the scenes at the Accelerator.

We’ve also been very lucky to have some amazing sponsors—like Zola Windows, who has been with us since the very beginning. When asked why Zola signed on initially, General Manager Evan Anderson explains that a large part of it was because of mutual ethos with Passive House Accelerator Founder Michael Ingui, who is also the President at Ingui Architecture. “I think it’s an alignment of goals for sure,” Anderson says. “There's a commitment to promoting energy efficiency and overall sustainability in building design, whether it's residential or commercial. We also share an understanding of corporate social responsibility in supporting Passive House building standards.”

Where We Started

At the start of 2019, the year the Accelerator launched, there were approximately 2,000 Passive House buildings worldwide. Within just five years, the number of certified buildings has grown exponentially, with the Passive House Institute reporting nearly 5,700 certified Passive House buildings. Meanwhile, Phius has certified more than 7.4 million square feet of Passive House construction—up from over 2 million square feet as of the beginning of 2019.

Municipalities have played a major role in encouraging more efficient housing by enacting more stringent building performance standards, Anderson notes that the growth in networks dedicating to Passive House and high-performance building has certainly helped. “That collaboration and cooperation, I think, has fostered some really vibrant communities across the country,” Anderson says.

We like to think that we’ve played a role in creating a more collaborative and inclusive environment, as well as a platform that helps people from across the industry find information about Passive House construction. Since launching, the Accelerator has produced:

·         +1,000 articles

·         +500 videos

·         +300 podcasts (including 191 episodes of the Passive House Podcast)

In addition to these individual pieces, we’ve also published eight issues of Passive House Accelerator magazine, put on several summits, produced numerous events such as the Buildings of Excellence Award ceremonies, and hosted one 24-hour event that featured experts and projects from all over the world!

Where We’re Going

As the Passive House community has become increasingly global, we have worked to build a platform that reflects this broader community. As we go forward, we hope to continue expanding our audience and sharing stories that feature new and diverse voices from multiple regions. We have always believed that the principles of Passive House construction can be applied across various typologies and climates to make any building more efficient, resilient, comfortable, and healthy; showcasing a more diverse array of projects only makes that contention more convincing.

In addition to watching more Passive House projects sprout up across the world and seeing a larger number of communities enact policies to make building performance standards more rigorous, we have also seen the Passive House community become more concerned about materials choices and embodied carbon. Just five years ago, many teams were still perceiving foam insulation to be an unwanted but necessary part of construction largely because there were not enough cost-effective alternatives. Fast-forward to today, and the use of bio-based materials has become increasingly common and affordable. Moreover, innovative companies are discovering new ways to mitigate the environmental impact of harvesting these materials, fueling efforts to decarbonize building stocks and create an economy that is not just sustainable but regenerative.

As we all know, a lot can happen in just five years. It’s our hope that we’ll see even quicker adoption of Passive House methodologies throughout the world, more growth in the Passive House community, and an acceleration in efforts to decarbonize our building stock.

Categories: News