Air Tightness Requirements Of The Passive House Standard

Track 2: Construction & Testing Sessions

Wednesday, May 9, 08:00 – 09:30

The Passive House (PH) building standard is the most stringent energy efficiency standard in the world. It is quickly being identified as one path to achieving the carbon reduction goals set forth by New York’s governor and NYC’s mayor. Several affordable housing authorities in the US are currently including it or are preparing to include it as one of the stainability options in their applications for funding. Steven Winter Associates, Inc. is the PH consultant on more than two dozen multi‐family PH projects in the Northeast. These projects range in size from 3‐story low‐rise buildings to 33 story high‐rise structures with between 30 and 352 units in each. Markets range from affordable housing to high‐end flats in NYC. Achieving the stringent air tightness requirements of the PH standard requires careful coordination through all phases of design development and construction. In this presentation, the team will take you through the steps and tools necessary to meet these strict requirements. They will share successes and failures and make recommendations to help the audience reach these targets. The session will describe the necessity for integrated design, air barrier documents, and inspections and testing tools and protocols.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Describe the integrated design process and air barrier review required during the construction document development.
  2. Identify QA/QC strategies used to facilitate successful implementation of the air barrier system.
  3. Discuss testing procedures for use throughout construction in addition to final whole building blower door testing.
  4. Review common hurdles and successes experienced during construction by examining case studies.
Level of content:
Intermediate | Advanced
Construction & Testing

Scott Pusey, CPHC

Senior Sustainability Consultant
Steven Winter Associates

Scott Pusey is a Senior Sustainability Specialist at SWA, working with residential buildings. His expertise is in sustainable consulting services, program certification support and implementation of high performance and sustainable building technologies. Mr. Pusey holds the Certified Passive House Consultant (CPHC) certification through Passive House US. With architects, developers, builders, and homeowners, he develops comprehensive building energy reduction and sustainability strategies for both new construction and renovations. As part of the verification team he helps to bridge the gap between the design and construction teams as he verifies installed measures and conducts performance testing in support of the LEED® for Homes, PHIUS+ 2015, PHI, ENERGY STAR, and Enterprise Green Communities programs.

Michael O’Donnell

Senior Energy Consultant
Steven Winter Associates

Michael O’Donnell is a Senior Energy Consultant at Steven Winter Associates, Inc. with 10 years of energy efficiency and building science experience.  He provides consulting, certification support, site inspections, and performance testing for new construction multifamily projects in the New York City region.  Project types include Passive House (PHI and PHIUS), ENERGY STAR Multifamily High Rise, Enterprise Green Communities, and NYC Energy Code TR8 Inspections with sizes ranging from smaller four story buildings to large high rise towers.  Michael enjoys working with both design and construction teams to find solutions to unique project challenges.  He currently holds the Certified Energy Manager, Certified Passive House Tradesperson, and BPI Multifamily Building Analyst certifications.