Lessons Learned: Avoiding Common Mistakes for Multifamily Passive House Designers, Developers and Builders

1 session


Aaron Gunderson

18 May 2020



Presented by David Salamon, CPHC, CPHD, Re:Vision Architecture

Designing a Passive House is not easy and yet it is actually the easy part when considering the entire design and construction process! Drawing ideal details in the controlled environment of a comfortable office with favorite playlists and fresh coffee on demand pale in face of the difficulties encountered in the field. Weather, sequencing, materials, low skilled workers, apathy, inertia, as well as common mistakes all conspire against achieving Passive House certification throughout the many months of construction.

Though this presentation focuses on helping passive house designers, builders, and developers avoid common mistakes on multifamily residences, the lessons presented will be relevant for other project types as well. Additionally, this presentation will illustrate where corners are often cut and seemingly innocuous decisions that can have a substantial ripple effect through the rest of the project. Covered topics include material continuity and sequencing at the thermal and airtight boundaries, substitutions and unintended consequences, specifications and coordination. The lessons presented were learned on actual projects and are intended to illuminate common pitfalls in order to help the industry as a whole to realize successful passive house projects.



1. Participants will learn about common places failure can occur in passive house

2. Participants will learn about common mistakes made by builders during
construction and how to anticipate and preempt them.

3. Participants will gain knowledge of best practices to use during the construction of a
passive house in order to increase the chances of a successful project.

4. Participants will gain a deeper understanding of how to document details so that
they are more likely to be successfully executed in the field.


Lessons Learned: Avoiding Common Mistakes for Multifamily Passive House Designers, Developers and Builders

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