Passive House Accelerator Construction Tech: PHUNK

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Things are known to get geeky at our Component Spotlights. Construction Tech Tuesdays, however, are the domain of “the phunk.”

At last week’s Construction Tech Tuesday cohost Kevin Brennan walked us through some Uptown Phunk and a little Cornell Phunk (not to be confused with Cornell Funk) before Marcel Studer, principal at Econ Group in Vancouver, showed us his own unique brand of West Coast phunk, which involved the installation of two 1600 lbs lift and slide door systems. If George Clinton were a building scientist, this episode would be his jam.

Some may find the references to music from the 70s a little groanworthy (even if dozens of gems have been tossed to the cutting room floor), but there are serious parallels to funk and phunk. The most important one to remember is that those who can make the funk (or the phunk) are masters of their craft. These are not amateurs or one-trick ponies. They have such a firm understanding of their instruments (or tools), as well as the theory that goes along with using them, that they can improvise and iterate without missing a beat. They may make it look easy, but that is part of the show. Behind the effortless appearance is decades of practice and study, as well as the dedication to wake up every morning with a willingness to improve and to learn. This kind of commitment requires a true love of the technique and the technical.

In the world of Passive House, being able to bring the phunk means more than just technical mastery. It means being able to visualize and implement a solution to a design challenge on the spot while keeping your building envelope tight and not sacrificing on other performance metrics. It means repurposing equipment, tools, and materials in a unique or sometimes even strange way while staying true to Passive House principles. It’s a skill that gets developed after working on dozens of projects.

To see some serious phunk in action, check out the video from last week’s Construction Tech Tuesday below. And don’t forget to tune in every Tuesday as cohosts Mark Wille, Shaun St-Amour, and Kevin Brennan as they discuss the technical, the technique, and the technology of Passive House construction.