The 2019 Passive House Symposium was held at UBC Robson on November 19th, 2019. Reconauts Navid Hossaini, CEO, Jason Packer, President, and Chris Kendall, Associate & Sr Green Building Strategist, were all able to attend. We extended invitations to a number of clients and colleagues and were happy that representatives from Kasian Architecture, Carscadden, Coromandel Properties, and DYS Architects were able to attend with us. The Symposium showcased a depth of knowledge on the issues that we as sustainability consultants address and hope to solve for our clients.
Anthony Pak of Priopta presented an enlightening talk on embodied carbon. The CO2 emitted throughout the lifecycle of building materials including extraction, manufacture, transport, and construction make up 11% of total global CO2 emissions and will be responsible for almost half of total new construction emissions between now and 2050. According to the UN Global Status Report 2017 the equivalent of an entire New York City will be built every month for the next 40 years, so it is important to reduce these emissions. Vancouver’s Climate Emergency Response aims to reduce embodied emissions from new building and construction projects by 40% from today’s baseline. For further reading you can check out Pak’s article on this topic here.
Brittany Coughlin of RDH presented on the Performance Gap between modeled and actual energy usage. A 2016 UK study showed that there is on average 34% deviation between modeled and measured energy usage. Underlying causes include modelling protocols, installation issues, complexity of design, and occupant behavior. The Passive House energy modelling tool, PHPP, is known for greater accuracy, particularly for predicting heating and cooling in residential buildings, but high performance projects can still face challenges predicting overall energy use. It’s becoming increasingly common to track performance data which is creating new opportunities to reconcile modeled vs actual energy consumption. . We can improve modelling through training and education of not just the modelers or architects, but also of operations personnel and occupants.
Another session of interest focused market reaction and included representatives of the financing and insurance industry. There was a good discussion about balancing the long-term benefits of high performance building against the upfront premiums. As carbon taxes go up in the coming years, Passive House buildings will cost less to operate and will become more attractive to build.
These were only some of the topics covered at the Symposium. Overall there was a strong focus on using Passive House strategies to build resilience for our changing world. From finance, building trades, all the way to final building occupants everyone can strive to live more sustainably and look at what choices we can make as individuals in order to make a positive, collective difference.
Recollective was proud to be a sponsor of this event.