Passive House - Today’s Highest Energy Standard

From the New York Times to Fine Homebuilding, the Passive House standard is receiving a lot of attention. Often called “The World’s Most Rigorous Energy Efficiency Standard”, the concept is proven in Europe with tens of thousands of projects – residential and commercial.  Brian Fuentes and Lance Wright, members of the Denver Chapter of the National Passive House Alliance, will provide a general overview of the Passive House standard and explain the basic metrics of the standard as it applies to Colorado’s climate. With specific examples, they will illustrate how Passive House creates comfortable and healthy buildings that are easily powered by renewables – while providing a cost effective path to carbon neutrality.

Brian Fuentes, AIA, CPHC, is a registered architect in the State of Colorado, a member of the AIA and a Certified Passive House Consultant with PHI in Germany as well as PHIUS in the US.  The work of fuentesdesign has been featured in Architectural Record Magazine, 5280 Magazine, The Denver Post, Boulder County Business Report, and Boulder Daily Camera with such articles as “The House Gore Should Have Built,” “A Second Home that passes Green Muster,” “Jeffco Home is a Bale-out.” His work has also been recognized in Colorado Sustainable Design Awards, and the book Prefabulous and Sustainable, by Sheri Koones.  Brian has lectured at the U.S. National Passive House (PHIUS) conference, the USGBC Colorado„s conference and Colorado Sustainable Living Fair.  Brian graduated from the University of Oregon and Robert D. Clark Honors College with distinction in Architecture, where he worked as volunteer on the first straw bale house in Eugene in 1998.  He was the recipient of the Rosenberg Traveling Fellowship in 1999 from the University of Oregon‟s Architecture program and traveled to Curitiba, Brazil to see the latest in sustainable urban planning.

Lance Wright graduated from Auburn University with a degree in the Forest Ecology Honor‟s Program in 1976 and worked with the U. S. Forest Service in Colorado, Idaho, Oregon and Alaska until 1983. He was elected to the Parker Town Council in 1996 and re-elected in 2000. In 1998, Lance built his first energy efficient house, and his low heating bills helped convince fellow councilmembers to increase building code requirements for energy efficiency in the Town of Parker. He moved to Springfield, Missouri in 2004 and became the first US EPA Energy Star building partner in southern Missouri. After building Energy Star rated homes in Missouri for two years, Lance returned to Colorado and established his energy efficiency design and consulting business, Green Energy Man, Inc. Lance was among the charter group of Passive House Consultants trained by Passive House Institute, US in the fall of 2008. He and his wife live in Denver in their “Near Passive House,” which they are currently retrofitting to gain Passive House Certification.

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