Passive House Learning Center

WE ARE MASS SAVE: Together, we make good happen for Massachusetts: Berkshire Gas, Blackstone Gas Company, Cape Light Compact, Columbia Gas, Eversource, Liberty Utilities, National Grid and Unitil.

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Upcoming Sessions

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Presented by Mike Woolsey, Certified Passive House Designer and building systems expert at Swegon North America.  Passive House buildings are intended to be energy-efficient and comfortable. Comfort is often given lower priority, resulting in end-user complaints. This course explores the use of the so-called Boost Mode to provide on-demand occupant control. Read More

This hour-long course discusses the design of ventilation systems for large and/or mulitfamily Passive House buildings. Topics include ventilation rates and requirements, HRV and ERV selection, humidity and moisture management, central vs unitized location considerations, and filters/air-quality improvement.  Presented by Josephine Zurica, P.E., CPHC, Principle at Dagher Engineering.  This is a recorded from a live virtual session - audience Q&A/discussion is included. Read More

This interactive online four-session workshop series draws on project experience to demonstrate cost-effective planning and design of affordable, low-emission, mid-rise, multifamily, wood-framed housing. Featuring regional case-studies and strategies for Massachusetts and New England.  The solutions presented in this workshop are drawn from the hundreds of affordable multi-unit buildings constructed to the Passive House standard worldwide, because this is the largest cohort of affordable, low-emission, mid-rise, multi-unit housing. While these solutions are taken from multi-unit Passive House buildings, they are equally applicable to buildings constructed to other low-emissions standards. Likewise, while affordable housing projects dominate the case studies presented in this workshop, the patterns apply equally to market- and luxury-housing projects. The curriculum has been prepared by the Energy and Sustainability team at RDH, a team that is consulting to more than five million square feet of Passive House projects, in consultation with Passive House Massachusetts and Mass Save. The workshops will be presented by Monte Paulsen, a veteran Passive House trainer and leader of the RDH Passive House team. Workshop Series Part 1 Session 1: Tuesday, Nov. 10th, 12pm to 3pm Topics: Introduction, Context, Costs, Form Patterns, Discussion Session 2: Thursday, Nov. 12th, 12pm to 3pm Topics: Embodied Carbon, Assembly Patterns, Thermal Bridging Patterns, Incentives, Discussion Workshop Series Part 2 Session 1: Tuesday, Nov. 17th, 12pm to 3pm Topics: Brief Review of Workshop I, Summer Comfort, Shading & Window Patterns, Cooling Patterns, Discussion Session 2: Thursday, Nov. 19th, 12pm to 3pm Topics: Ventilation Patterns, Electrification Patterns, Planning Process & Timelines, Discussion Registered attendees can participate in the four live sessions at the times above and will have access to recorded content and course materials for a period of 6 months. Live participation is encouraged.    Read More

Passive Houses are built 8 to 10 times more airtight than a typical code-level building. As a result, less moisture transfer occurs through the exterior wall assembly via air leakage through the façade. This can lead to high interior relative humidity levels and pose increased risk of condensation on the building structure. The primary means of controlling humidity levels in a Passive House is through the ventilation and heating & cooling systems. This talk will outline an example of how this risk was assessed for a current PH project and will detail what design options are available to reduce this risk. The presentation will be multifamily focused. Presented by Dylan Martello, CPHD, Senior Building Systems Consultant, Steven Winter Associates Read More

From minimizing refrigerant to integrating water loops, the next-generation of HVAC solutions for larger buildings is now here. This course covers an overview of design approaches with VRF equipment that is aimed towards reducing the amount of refrigerant in occupied spaces. We will review how Mitsubishi HEX coils can bring a building’s water loop infrastructure onto the VRF platform, as well as advancements in refrigerant-to-water products in the next generation of VRF equipment: Hybrid VRF – which eliminates refrigerant downstream of the branch circuit controller – and the upcoming QAHV – a domestic hot water heat pump system. Presenters: Julie Klump, VP of Design and Building Performance at Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH) Michael Ragan, Mitsubishi Electric Trane HVAC engineer and VRF specialist Read More

The path to Passive House certification ensures the topmost quality and building performance for both new construction and retrofits. This presentation demystifies the process by introducing key players, mapping critical milestones and reviewing concepts and tools that come up along the way. Recorded from live session in August, 2020, Q&A included.   About the presenter: John Loercher is a Certified Passive House Consultant (CPHC), serves on the board for the Passive House Alliance US and is a Certified CPHC trainer. He brings experience from over two dozen certified Passive House projects including Residential, Mulitfamily, Commercial, New Construction and Retrofits.  Read More

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