Passive House worldwide!
The first International Passive House Conference in China was a success!
"1,5 degrees is still possible!"
All the keynote speakers at the 23rd International Passive House Conference in Gaobeidian unanimously agreed that putting "energy-efficiency first" was necessary to achieve the climate objectives of the Paris Agreement. As a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the environmental scientist Diana Ürge-Vorsatz highlighted in her keynote speech that July 2019 had been the warmest month since temperature records began. However, there is some good news: "Even though many may not believe this, the objective of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees is still achievable, but only with great effort. Time is running out!"
The politician and co-president of the Club of Rome Professor Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker emphasised the necessity for significantly reducing the energy demand and relying on climate-neutral technologies instead of new coal-fired power plants. He is also in favour of increasing the price of energy annually.
"Going to China was the right decision. The commitment to highly energy efficient construction and sustainable development impressed us, particularly here in Hebei Province. We are happy to continue in this direction together," affirmed Professor Dr Wolfgang Feist, founder of the Passive House Institute. In Gaobeidian, the Passive House Institute is monitoring the progress of the Passive House Railway City, a development which is modelled on the German Bahnstadt in Heidelberg, achieving the Passive House standard.
„Why are we still building differently?“
In the building sector, Passive House construction offers the opportunity to substantially reduce the operational energy demand and enjoy the added bonus of greater living comfort. "Passive House buildings are possible with the same budget as that of other buildings, and they are healthier in addition, so "why are we still building differently?" asked
Ürge-Vorsatz. According to Professor Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker, a politician and co-president of the Club of Rome, in view of the limitations to growth our present lifestyle is "suicidal". Von Weizsäcker also emphasised the necessity for significantly reducing the energy demand and relying on climate-neutral technologies instead of new coal-fired power plants. He is also in favour of increasing the price of energy annually.
Ni Haiqiong, Director of the co-organiser Orient Sundar Group, stressed that energy consumption and environmental pollution had reached dangerous highs. In China, this issue has led to the development away from the traditional window and door production, towards a growing industry of Passive House components.
Vice Governor Zhang Gujiang explained that the Hebei Province is committed to the Passive House standard for the future. The first Passive House Conference in China had laid the foundation for further establishing this technology in the region. Environmental engineer Dr Hou Li-an explained that problems with air quality caused by traditional construction methods could be solved with Passive House construction, among other things.
In his inaugural address, the Chairman of the Chinese Passive Building Alliance, Professor Xu Wie, referred to the 13th Five-Year Plan for the period 2016 till 2020, in which the Chinese Ministry of Construction stipulated the low-energy standard for the first time and thus laid the foundation for energy efficient construction in China. He outlined China's goal for consequently reducing the energy demand of buildings to nearly zero.
Zhang Xiaoling, Director of the Beijing Kanqiju Certification Center, explained that Passive House buildings improved the health and living standards of the Chinese people. The main challenges now were quality control of the buildings and further training for construction professionals.
Almost 80 certified products from China
In his speech, Professor Dr Wolfgang Feist outlined the success story of Passive House construction in China. He explained the necessity, particularly in warmer regions, for cooling with reduced energy expenditure during the summer months and also reducing the solar loads. "Together with appropriate insulation and improved components, the quality of indoor air will also improve considerably," explained Feist. He drew attention to the many windows produced by Chinese manufacturers which have been awarded a certificate as Passive House components and are at least twice as efficient as conventional products.
In Gaobeidian, many buildings received their building certificates. Additionally, manufacturers of Passive House components were awarded a certificate for their products. The winners of the Innovation Award were presented by the Passive House Institute and went to the following companies: EcoCocons from Slovakia/Lithuania for its construction system consisting of straw, Q-Blue, Netherlands, for its shower-water heat recovery system, Swisspacer, Switzerland, for the new window spacer concept Triple, and Windoor City, China, for a wooden window concept with an aluminium shell which is adaptable to all climate zones.
Component Award 2019
More than 23 companies from 12 countries took part in the Component Award 2019 for thermally improved windows, which was sponsored by the European Union within the framework of the AZEB (Affordable Zero Energy Buildings) project. In the cold climate category, the first prize went to the manufacturer Harbin Sayyas Windows from China for the PAZEN 120 window. For the cool-temperate climate, the first prize went to ENERsign from Wittlich (Germany) for its window ENERsign primus; Daimaru Kogyo (Japan), Blumer Lehmann (China) and SEDA (New Zealand) were awarded the prize in the category warm-temperate climate for the wood/aluminium window smartwin compact and Eurofinestra from Italy was awarded the prize for its wood window ZEN. The 14 award winners are listed on the website of the Passive House Institute.
At the Passive House Trade Exhibition, several thousand visitors from the Windoor Festivals that took place parallel to the Passive House conference were able to learn more about energy efficient construction. The Passive House Institute and the international network iPHA were part of the exhibition with their own booth.
The third day of the conference allowed the visitors to participate in different excursions to exciting Passive House projects in China: The biggest Passive House development "Railway City" and other Passive House projects in Beijing, Zhouzhou and Baoding. During these excursions, the groups visited apartments, office buildings as well as the Passive House museum in the Railway City. Throughout all tours, a translation service to Englisch and Chinese was provided.
After the conference, it was possible to take part in the Passive House Open Days Tour and visit even more Passive House projects.
Besides the series of 20 lecture series relating to worldwide Passive House projects, the conference programme was complemented by 14 workshops. Even before the conference had officially begun, the Passive House Institute offered Basic Workshops in Chinese explaining the planning tool DesignPH and the Passive House project planning tool PHPP. After the conference, the Advanced Workshops covered a variety of topics like airtightness, dehumidification or windows for English speakers. The Sinfonia workshop explained climate protection on a district level. Additionally, professionals were able to take part in a Train-the-Trainer course, specifically designed for course providers that teach certified Passive House Planers and Tradespeople.
Architecture Competition 2020
During the conference, the Passive House Institute announced the "2020 Passive House Award" for energy efficient buildings and high-quality architecture, which places a focus on renewable energy supply for buildings. Passive House buildings which have been certified may be entered into this architecture competition until June 2020. The Award will be presented during the 24th International Passive House Conference on 20 and 21 September 2020 in Berlin.
We are incredibly happy and thankful for this conference week and all the things we learned and shared. It is an exhilarating experience to meet so many people that are passionate about building energy-efficient houses and implementing these building standards for a better and more sustainable future.
We want to thank all the speakers, exhibitiors, supporters, and, of course, all the visitors of the 23rd International Passive House Conference. All of you made this conference truly special!
We are already preparing for next year and are looking forward to seeing you at the 24th International Passive House Conference in Berlin!