High performance buildings demand innovative and often untested strategies for improving thermal performance and reducing energy consumption while maintaining indoor environmental quality. The Passive House design standard is increasingly being implemented in residential and small commercial construction. This standard results in buildings with airtight envelopes, high levels of insulation, very high performance windows, and energy efficient appliances.
The intent of this paper is to evaluate the performance of several cutting-edge high performance building technologies as implemented in a Passive House duplex constructed in Portland, Oregon, USA. We provide an overview of the performance of the entire structure from multiple viewpoints, but focus largely on the performance of the heat recovery ventilator and heat pump water heater. Interactions of these systems with occupant behavior and indoor environmental quality are also discussed.