In addition to being Natural Life Magazine’s Founder and Publisher, Rolf Priesnitz has over 40 years of experience in the construction industry. And he writes a regular column in Natural Life called “Buying or Building Your Sustainable Home.” He is currently examining the wide and growing variety of green building certification programs that are building on LEED, which we featured all last year.
One of the problems with some of these certification programs and most of the green building demonstration projects is their reliance on technology, to the degree that they often ignore the more obvious low-tech solutions. Those include awnings, natural ventilation, minimal windows facing away from the sun, buffering landscaping, clotheslines and so on. The initiative that Rolf describes in his column in Natural Life’s January/February 2010 issue addresses that issue. The Passivhaus movement is an exciting European building design program that offers tremendous energy savings – as much as ninety percent – due to reliance on passive heating systems and good sustainable design. The claim is that houses built to Passivhaus standards can be heated or cooled with the energy it takes to operate a hand-held hair dryer. The entire article is now available in the website for a limited time.