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November 1, 2011 / bjh3ev

Assignment 04: Flows and Spaces_Outline

Subject of Study

I’m interested by the subject of the Passive House, focusing in on the windows utilized in different houses, and seeing how exactly the goal of passive heating/cooling is reached then optimized.

Outline of Argument

The advances made in Passive House technology could possibly be used in architecture that isn’t trying to conform to the more strict environmental regulations that are used to classify houses as “Passive,” “LEED,” etc. By looking into the differences between the standard window and the Passive House windows–and seeing if the more energy efficient one could be applied outside of the Passive House system, or if it has been so optimized that it wouldn’t be applicable elsewhere.

Method of Research

There are a couple of Passive House organizations that have really informative websites that I plan on using to start my research. Passive Houses are most common in Europe (specifically Germany), so I see the homepage of the ‘Passiv Haus Institut’ ( as being a great resource, as well as the US organization ( There are also the original research projects–and the papers that were published on them–from the early 1990s that should provide all the background I need on the initial development of the Passive House.

Intended Form of Final Product

I would like to explore (and present) the elements of the Passive House through a number of diagrammatic series. These could show the profressive development of the elements, different iterations that are commonly used, or the effect of the systems in different climates–it really depends on where my research takes me. The diagrams will definitely focus on the effectiveness that different types of windows used have towards achieving the goal of passivity.


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