Passive House is a measureable standard aimed to greatly reduce (by 90%) energy consumption while increasing thermal comfort and hygiene requirements compared to traditionally built structures. The problem statement lays in the increase in CO2 gas emission to actual and projected points that the earth has a decreasing ability to cool with too much mixture of the trapped heat gases and that the planet is facing increasingly uncomfortable and destructive temperature.
Passive House Institute (PHI), based in Germany, was founded by Dr. Wolfgang Feist and Bo Adamson. Since inception, there are currently 6,748 certified newly constructed Passive Houses and 63 retrofitted ones. PHI also provides and supports building component certifications including window frames and entry doors. Although using PHI certified building components is not a requirement to a certifiable Passive Hose building, by employing certified components, a building can be designed and built with higher degree of confident in succeeding the overall Passive House building certification standard. There are 119 window frames certified in the world as of September 2013.
Alpine Technical Workshops is inspired to support High Performance Fenestrations to be Made in North America. It starts with knowledge ‐ this allows everyone to speak in a common language whether it is in production skill or in business. Then collaborations can occur where the production shops, industry partners, component suppliers and certification bodies can contribute and build on the ideas in terms of both products and business execution. Finally, a certification can be applied and completed. As knowledge and collaboration steps are already detailed in advance of the certification, real life production can occur in a short amount of time. This is exactly what happened to the Synergist window, which obtained the very first PHI window certification in the U.S. on July 8, 2013. This was (and still is) also the ONLY all wood, out-swing casement window certified by PHI in the world. It is also currently the ONLY PHI certified window that is Made in North America. This window will be showcased first at the Passive House North 2013 conference in September. Jeff Casagrande of Casagrande Woodworks appropriately named this window Synergist with the hallmark teamwork to complete the certification process within a week. The first window has been produced successfully within exactly 10 weeks. As Dr. Feist has posted on July 8, 2013, on Twitter, "It's a small step for a company ‐ but a big leap for global sustainability…" Alpine is very proud to have participated and provided a medium for this historical event.
"Passive House is not a brand," says Dr. Feist. It's also not copy‐writable. It is the very concept and standard that one can employ to move the needle in solving the problem statement. There are many Passive Houses in the world proving examples and measurable results on what are possible. Within the sustainability community there are many other standards and measurements such as LEED and Net Zero. Together, knowledge has become increasing accessible to experience high quality, highly energy efficient products and buildings. It is up to each individual to increase BOTH the supply (wood window production) and the demand (consumers, architects and builders) for much higher performing buildings and components.