rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

Austria Passive House opens in Whistler

Please chip in to support rabble's election 2019 coverage. Support rabble.ca today for as little as $1 per month!

Whistler's new Passive House built by the Austria Passive House Group

Whistler residents had the opportunity to tour the resort's first passive house today, while sipping on Glühwein and listening to toe-tapping accordian music.

The Austria Passive House, located at the entrance to Lost Lake Park, was built by the Austria Passive House Group (APG), with help from the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW), the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation and Sea to Sky Consulting. The Austrians provided all the building materials, including the feature logs, triple-glazed windows, walls, roof, ventilation and air circulation systems.

Other sponsors included:
• Whistler-based Durfeld Log Construction: assembled the building
Sohm Holzbautechnik: supplied the design and manufactured wood products
BASF: German company that produced the dense, interlocking foam pieces called Isoquick, used for the heat trapping under the floor slab.
Mendiger Basalt: supplied the volcanic natural stone floor tiles
Optiwin: supplied the triple-glazed windows
Drexel-Weiss: supplied the HRV (heat recovery ventilators)

The building will host the Austrian Olympic Committee and Austrian Public Broadcasting during the Olympics next February. Post-games, the building will be turned over to the community and will be used by the Whistler Off-Road Cycling Association (WORCA) and the Whistler Nordics Ski Club.

WHAT IS A PASSIVE HOUSE?

The name "passive" refers to the building's ability to heat and cool itself most of the time, keeping it  warm and cozy in the winter and comfortably cool in the summer. It uses little to no energy for heating and cooling, using a combination of super insulation, thick walls and windows, solar retention, ground heat and other technology. The Austria Passive House requires only 4 kWs to heat the entire building. It's surprisingly quiet, air-tight and sun-filled.

There are several features that make this home interesting. Austria Haus uses an "under slab" insulation system that provides a thermal barrier between the ground and the concrete slab. It has 8-inch thick interior cement walls, with a dense polystyrene insulation pack that encases the exterior walls. The building also uses a geothermal-fed heating system that allows the building to maintain a constant temperature of between 12-15º C.

During the games, the international media, athletes and visitors can also visit the 2010 Net Zero Green home, built by RDC Fine Homes Inc.

With over 12,000 passive homes in Europe, and less than a dozen in North America, let's hope that Canada plays catch-up to its European counterparts. Like new Olympic sports, let's move beyond building a demonstration home every few years. It's time to modernize Canada's building codes and adopt a proven system to build innovative homes using locally sourced materials.

For more info:
www.austrian-passivehouse.com
www.whistler2010.com/get-involved/community-events/austria-passive-house.cfm
www.rdcfinehomes.com

 

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.

Comments

We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:

Do

  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.

Don't

  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.