Highlights of the 21st International Passive House Conference

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The last week of April 2017 saw the 21st International Passive House Conference come to Vienna. This year’s event was once again full of great presentations, exhibitors, excursions, networking opportunities and of course fun. According to the Passive House Institute there were around 1,100 participants from around 55 countries! The team working at iPHA as well as many of our international affiliates were in Vienna taking part in the conference. Here’s a look at some of our highlights!

Flags from various countries with blurred key note speakers in the background

National flags at the closing plenary of the 21st International Passive House Conference


Amina Lang

Every year I am blown away by just how international the Passive House community truly is and this year was no exception. This is shown increasingly not just in the participants but in the diversity of presentations and projects which are showcased. For iPHA, the conference always concludes with our annual iPHA Affiliates meeting on the Sunday evening, where representatives from our 20 Affiliates come together to share their achievements of the past year and to discuss future plans. All our partners are so incredibly active during the year and to hear of the progress being made is always so inspiring. Looking around the room and seeing representatives from all over Europe, North America, China and even Australia, it is undeniable that this is a global movement.

For the first time this year, iPHA brought together all previous regional and national evening activities following the conference’s end on Saturday under one umbrella and hosted an iPHA networking dinner – an informal evening of Austrian food, wine and music. It was a great celebration to end the conference and we look forward to continuing this new tradition next year in Bavaria’s capital, Munich!

Two employees of the international passive house association at BAU Messe 2017 in Munich

Amina Lang (left) and Francis Bosenick (right) from the International Passive House Association

Francis Bosenick

The tagline for the 21st International Passive House Conference was “Passive House for all“ and the conference certainly lived up to this through it’s diverse plenary and presentation programme. Athough it’s impossible to attend every session, I was able to sit in on the session on non-residential Passive House buildings. The presentations aligned perfectly with the conference tagline, showing that the development of Passive House buildings is moving far beyond the typical single-family house. Some of the exciting projects highlighted included the award winning Enterprise Centre at the University of East Anglia in England, a recording artists residence in Vermont, USA and a retrofitted community centre in Pergine Valsugana, Italy.

As always it’s great to see so many familiar faces as well as meet new people involved in the movement. The evening event at Vienna’s Natural History Museum was a particular highlight. The building is truly magnificient and it provided a fantastic setting for great conversations with passionate and driven Passive House pros. We’re already looking forward to next year’s conference in Munich!

Wolfgang Feist announcing the next conference in Munich with a picture of the Munich in the background

Dr. Wolfgang Feist announcing the next International Passive House Conference in Munich Photo: PHI

Read the full post-conference review.

IG Passivhaus (Germany)

Changing habits requires us to think, and it isn’t easy. That’s what the participants of the 21st International Passive House Conference in Vienna were challenged with during the opening plenary. Breaking old habits and sharing resources fairly is necessary in order to reduce climate change to a tolerable level, as renowned climate researcher Helga Kromp-Kolb explained. “We have to manage with just this planet”, pointed out Professor Dr. Wolfgang Feist, founder of the Passive House Institute. Over 1000 participants from more than 50 countries travelled to Vienna in order to exchange information relating to energy efficient construction and learn more about international Passive House projects.

Read IG Passivhaus’ full post-conference review (in German).

Passivhaus Austria

Read Passivhaus Austria’s full review (in German).

Passivhaus Trust (UK)

A particularly exciting development this year was the showcasing of a number of high-rise Passivhaus projects under development across the globe including a 352 unit student housing development in New York City and two residential towers of 28 and 31 floors for social housing in Bilbao, Spain.

The UK was also well represented throughout the two days, with presentations from Myrtia Fasouli, Sturgis Carbon Profiling on the oldest EnerPHit retrofit in the UK; Gareth Selby, Architype on the award-winning UEA Enterprise Centre; Rupert Daly, Collective Architecture on a high-rise residential retrofit project in Glasgow; Nick Grant, Elemental Solutions on developing summer comfort guidance in the UK and Mark Siddall, LEAP on his experience of overheating risks in the North East of England.

Read the Passivhaus Trust’s full review.

Passive House Hungary

Read Passive House Hungary’s full review (in Hungarian).

Further reading:

If you were in Vienna for the International Passive House Conference, please feel free to share and discuss your highlights in the comments section below!

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