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Do you Need Passive House Certified Windows for a Passive House Project?

Window Geeks

With the climate crisis at the forefront of everyone’s minds, energy efficiency has never been more important. Passive Homes are at the top of the list when it comes to thermally insulated buildings. These are highly insulated and very airtight so as to reduce heat and energy loss – so when it comes to building materials, there aren’t a lot of options. This is especially true if you want Passive House performance for climate zones 1 and 2.

Windows in Passive Homes

A few weeks ago on our LinkedIn initiative, #TwoCentsTuesday, we asked if you need Passive House certified windows for your upcoming passive house project. The results are in, and 71% of voters said no while 29% answered yes.

If you voted “no”… then you are correct!

This is important knowledge to have because building a Passive Home can be expensive and it certainly limits your options for suppliers. The alternative path allows you to use standard windows in your Passive House project by converting NFRC data. If you’d like us to share the formula with you and discuss, all you have to do is reach out to our Window Geeks! This has been independently reviewed and approved by the Passive House Institute (PHI).

Thanks to RDH Building Science and Peel Passive House Consulting with help from the Fenestration Association of B.C. They created a document called “B.C. Reference Procedure for Using THERM to Determine Window Performance Values for Use with The Passive House Planning Package”. This helps window manufacturers calculate the performance values required by PHPP.  

“The methodology described here is based on using industry-standard North American software and it is intended to help window manufacturers to:  

  • Generate and report PHPP compatible performance values for existing products that may be able to meet Passive House requirements in Southern BC and Vancouver Island. 
  • Design new products that comply with Passive House performance requirements for one or more of the Canadian Passive House climate zones.
  • Report PHPP values together with North American energy performance values in a standard format defined within this document. 

Based on the results of thermal simulations conducted using the BC reference procedure, THERM version 7.4 meets the validation criteria of ISO 10077-2:2017 when the Equivalent Thermal Conductivity method is used for frame cavities.”

This is a great resource and can truly help make Passive Houses more obtainable for everyone. The one question you and your team have to ask yourselves is: are you happy to use windows that are not Passive House certified? If yes, then great! We can consult on what needs to be done to follow this alternative path, which can open up options in a big way for your project.

We Are Your Certified Window Geeks

We love to talk windows! We’re here to help, so if you have a question about your window project all you have to do is reach out. Contact us early in the process so that our experts can make sure everything is correct from the get-go.

For more information on this topic (and many more!) contact our local Employee Owners at 1-888-534-3333 or drop us an email at Join the club and become a Window Geek yourself by signing up for our biweekly newsletter, which provides news, advice, and tips about the window industry and upcoming events, and test your window knowledge by following us on LinkedIn.

Written by: Ronil Desai , August 18, 2022
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