The 25th International Passive House Conference will take place from September 10-11th in Wuppertal, Germany, and online. The patronage of the conference was taken by Andreas Pinkwart, North Rhine Westphalia's State Minister for Economic Affairs. Only buildings with a low energy demand for heating and cooling will put us on the path to efficient climate protection. By reducing the energy demand, we can ensure that our building stock’s energy needs can be fully met by renewable energy sources, long term and at large scale. Encompassing this idea is this year’s International Passive House Conference and complementary exhibition, which bare the motto "Passive House - The key to sustainable buildings!”
Currently, the conference is planned as a hybrid event with both, in-person events in the historical City Hall of Wuppertal, Germany, on September 10 and 11 as well as online offerings to reach a global audience. "Last year's online conference opened a lot of doors for us and helped us reach even more international participants. Because of that, we will complement this year's in-person conference with online offerings," says Jan Steiger, one of the Passive House Institute's managing directors.
This year's event will be the 25th edition of the International Passive House Conference. The first conference was held in 1996 in Darmstadt, Germany, the home of the Passive House Institute. Ever since, the event has taken place annually in different cities all over Germany, twice in Austria and even in China in 2019. Since its humble beginnings in 1996, there have been major advancements in the building sector, which has adopted energy efficiency principles. However, there is room for improvement: Many buildings could easily be constructed or retrofitted to a higher energy performance. This is the reason that experts advise the need for stricter energy performance guidelines.
Energy efficiency first
This year's conference is no different when it comes to covering a wide variety of topics from the world of highly energy-efficient construction. The topics range from energy efficiency and renewables, districts and components, serial retrofitting, Passive House policy, cooling concepts, and capacity building and education. These topics have one thing in common, the focus on #EfficiencyFirst. Only after drastically improving the energy efficiency of our buildings, we can truly achieve a sustainable building sector. This, in turn, will improve our ability to protect the climate. "We want to show that Passive Houses are a well-suited and straightforward solution to protect the climate and improve the living conditions of their inhabitants. Residents profit from a higher comfort level and better air quality", explains Jan Steiger.
Passive House and NZEB
Nearly Zero Energy Buildings (NZEB) are also an important topic at the Wuppertal conference. According to the European Union's guidelines, government buildings have been required to meet NZEB targets since 2019. Starting this year, residential new builds must also meet this level. Each EU country has its own definition of an NZEB, though. In Greece, for example, a building complying with local NZEB guidelines still uses four times the energy of a Passive House. In Germany, too, the NZEB requirements result in much higher energy consumption than the Passive House standard. "The Passive House criteria are open and rooted in building physics. Passive Houses can be achieved worldwide and are proven to offer the energy savings they promise, and thus, are necessary for effective climate protection", says Steiger.
This year too, the Specialist Exhibition for Passive House components will take place together with the International Passive House Conference. The exhibition will be available in Wuppertal's city hall and digitally via the virtual exhibition platform. Every year, the number of certified Passive House components grows and there are now well over 1000 components available from a variety of international manufacturers.
Passive House Award 2021
The Passive House Award 2021, supported by the EnergyAgency.NRW, will be presented during the 25th International Passive House Conference. The architecture award aims to honour highly energy-efficient projects and certified Passive House buildings. This year's award will put emphasis on the use of renewable energy sources in building projects.
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