Retrofitting Existing Buildings to Target Net Zero: Practical Approaches and Real Projects using the Passive House Standard

This presentation will look in depth at three case studies of large buildings designed to meet the EnerPHit standard. The first two – an office building in New Haven, Connecticut and a student housing building in New York City – were the subjects of extensive studies to determine the cost effectiveness of different improvements. The third – a garment factory in Sri Lanka – is complete with a year of utility data to validate the improvements. In all three, drastic improvements in mechanical, hot water, and envelope efficiencies, reductions in plug and lighting loads, and a focus on air-tightness all result in drastic reductions in yearly energy consumption. All of these measures will be covered and for two of these projects, the cost vs. energy impact will be discussed.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Describe the Passive House retrofit program (EnerPHit) and what is required for certification
  2. List the 5 Passive House principles implemented in all projects to reduce building energy consumption
  3. Describe three high efficiency mechanical systems capable of meeting the Passive House standard
  4. Describe three envelope options used in Passive House retrofits for both interior and exterior insulation applications.


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