Indiana & Yoga Magazine Summer 2016 Issue 1 - Page 28

CONSCIENTIOUS LIFE indoor air quality but all PHIUS certified projects are required to meet the EPS's indoor airPLUS requirements. Indoor airPLUS practices and specifications minimize exposure to airborne pollutants and contaminants. Before any foundations were placed strategic planning occurred to insure maximum use of the sun’s natural heat and light source. On the southern facing side of the house sunshades allow the winter sun to heat the home and block the higher, hotter summer sun. What is the cost of building Passive? With such high standards and specific building requirements it is surprising that initial upfront cost is only 10% higher than building to minimum code requirements. However, the overall cost is greatly reduced due to the low operational expenses. Image: Passive House Institute US (PHIUS) “The benefits of passive buildings go way beyond mere energy savings,” according to Meredith Marsh, Communications Manager at PHIUS. “Energy efficiency at this scale means that with the addition of a small renewable energy system, occupants can not only zero out their home’s greenhouse gas emissions and reduce their carbon footprint under normal operation, but they can also survive off the grid in the event of a natural disaster or other crisis.” She also imagines that a small micro-grid would suffice to power an entire community of passive houses, and make it less vulnerable to power outages. Passive standards are not just for single family homes. The reduced operational expenses of passive buildings open up new opportunities in the affordable housing sector. Following the recent completion of phase two of the Orchards at Orenco, an affordable multifamily housing development in suburban Portland, Oregon, built to meet the PHIUS+2015 Standard, “Prospective tenants lined up around the block before dawn for the chance to call home to one of the largest passive building projects in North America,” Marsh said. This demonstrates how great the demand is for this type of housing.” In the end Passive House standards not only lower the carbon footprint of a newly built home but also create more comfort for the inhabitants, cleaner air quality and long-lasting durability. ■ 26 INDIANA & YOGA MAGAZINE ISSUE I