Project manager Harold Orr is receiving this year’s Pioneer Award from the Passive House Institute for the Saskatchewan Conservation House, an energy-efficient house built in Canada in the 1970s. The methods used at that time to improve energy efficiency were an important source of inspiration for the development of the Passive House concept.
Against the backdrop of the oil crisis in the 1970s, a broad team of experts looked at possibilities to significantly reduce the consumption of heating oil. At that time, the government of the Canadian province of Saskatchewan had in mind a building with active solar energy when it made plans for an experimental solar building. Due to problem related to energy storage – in the province’s cold capital Regina, solar gains during the period from November to March would be too low – this was not practical. The project team instead chose a double-skin construction to achieve optimal thermal protection for the Saskatchewan Conservation House.
“The building did not only have an excellent level of thermal protection, it was also constructed to be extremely airtight and as one of the first in the world, it had a ventilation system with heat recovery,” says Dr. Wolfgang Feist, director of the Passive House Institute. In this way the building made a strong contribution to the subsequent development of the Passive House concept.
The Pioneer Award will be awarded for the fourth time at the International Passive House Conference 2015 in Leipzig. The award remembers and honours important historical milestones in achieving greater energy efficiency in construction and refurbishment, says Feist.
Photo credit: Harold Orr