Back in the late 1970’s a project called Conservation House in Saskatchewan highlighted the use of air tightness and “heat recycling” to manage energy consumption. It was one of the first demonstration projects of its kind in North America and achieved a benchmark of 85% less energy required than a standard home for heating and cooling. At the time, the research behind its success did not manage to influence Canadian building codes. Instead it made its way to Germany, where “Passive Houses” were designed and built beginning in the 1990s. While Passive House construction is increasingly being used in the private housing market today, the application of its principles to publicly-funded housing has been less common.
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