Agnostic in the Passive House World

Learning about Passive House has opened up a new world for many in our group, PHWPA (Passive House Western Pennsylvania). Delving deeply into the ideas that Passive House offers in making low energy buildings has brought us a whole new set of contacts and friends. Going to the Passive House events reminds one of the early days of conferences for USGBC, so many like-minded people under one roof committed to similar ideas. Our group here in Pittsburgh is a passionate diverse group committed to low energy. Some of our members have gotten their training from PHI others from PHIUS. There are homebuilders, commercial contractors, architects, businessman, building raters, and even homeowners interested in low energy! All of us are working hard in our respective fields toward the same positive energy goal...that creates powerful bonds.

It is upsetting that we are seeing a splintering in the Passive House community. There are factions that are fighting over turf. We really need to be a community that focuses on sharing our combined knowledge and unifying a position on what is best for making low energy buildings across our country. We need to collect our energy not diffuse it. There is more power in unity. We need to look toward a time beyond the immediate... a time beyond the lessons we know today and beyond the current conflicts in our community. Think how much the green building world has changed since the creation of the USGBC....and think about how much it will change in the next decade. We need as a community to learn from our own groups and from those around us; groups like NESEA, New Building Institute, and Building Science Corporation even though they do not represent themselves as Passive House have a lot to teach the Passive House community... we need to share all of our knowledge and develop practical methods of changing the way we make buildings. Every group offers wisdom and perspective and we need to find a way to bring our knowledge together. If we can be a unified force we can have much more influence on our community and the world beyond.

A favorite statement from Eckhart Tolle is this, "...the stronger the ego, the stronger the sense of separateness between people. The only actions that do not cause opposing reactions are those that are aimed at the good of all. They are inclusive not exclusive. They join they don't separate."

Passive House of Western Pennsylvania is calling upon all of the Passive House factions to join and not separate...we are committed to this end. We ask the leaders of the all of PH groups to put ego aside, to put fear of each other's power aside, and to cooperate for the good of all. Let's have our discussions focused on how to make the best buildings for the market, influencing policy related to construction, and keeping up with the latest findings in building science. That is our common bond.

Respectfully submitted by Laura Nettleton, president PHWPA