Friday, 23 November 2012

Passive House Days

Our house was one of six houses in Japan that were listed in the worldwide Passive House Days. Low energy buildings around the world were open to visitors.

I'd been waiting for almost two years to get our house certified as a Passive House, spending many hours of discussion with the Passive House lady about the certification process. In the end, I registered it myself on the database held by the Passive House Institute in Darmstadt. Perhaps we will get certification in another year or two.

People didn't exactly beat a path to our door for the Passive House Days, although that was probably because we only opened the house on Friday, not the weekend, and we didn't do any publicity. I suspect they are a bit more organised in Europe, especially in Germany, and possibly less factional and cliquey. Having said that, cliques and factions are probably not limited to Japanese architecture, and probably apply in all areas of alternative technology and architecture in any country. Also, I was adding the building as a home owner, not an architect or a builder with an agenda of increasing my customer base.

I did ask Passive House in Germany about publicity for Passive House Days in Japan, and they told be about a person who I know indirectly, and have spoken to on the telephone who I'm going to call Mini Me. They said Mini Me knew me, so I assumed would be in touch. Mini Me had prepared a webpage announcing all the Passive House Days buildings in Japan, and I guessed that our house may be added to it, with it being on the Passive House database, and one of the houses open for Passive House Days. I think the list was not so much of Passive House buildings in Japan as Mini Me Passive House buildings in Japan. Not houses meeting an international standard, but buildings that Mini Me had been involved with the construction of, advertising Mini Me's services.

The list of "Passive Houses" in Japan on Mini Me's website page about Passive House Days had nine houses, although if you read carefully, and had some insider knowledge of the Passive House database, you could work out that only three of them were actually part of Passive House days, while they other six had "Passive House" in their names and claims that they had applied for certification, or planned to apply. Among them, this one looks similar to ours, at least in southern profile.

Actually, I didn't really expect to hear anything at all from Mini Me. I keep wondering whether I've been talking to the wrong people, or whether the world of Passive House is filled with unhelpful people. Being of a scientific disposition, I have not yet made a decision on this, and am waiting for more evidence to come in.