Recently a colleague of mine sent me an article about the spread of the PassivHaus concept from Germany toward the United States. A PassivHaus is one that does not require more than 15 kWh/m2/year. It differs from a traditional passive house because it is engineered to pre-heats incoming air, making it an “active” approach. It’s a fantastic concept that could significantly reduce our nation’s carbon footprint, lower our energy bills, and cause problems for mean petrostates around the world. This farsighted concept makes LEED seem quaint.
According to the National Capital Region Climate Change Report (Review Draft), residential buildings consume 33% of the energy in the National Capital Region (p. 46). Imagine if the City Council of Alexandria reserved a portion of Potomac Yards for PassivHaus’ only? Not only would Alexandria be will on its way toward achieving its goal in the Eco-City Action Plan that all new buildings by 2030 will be carbon neutral, it could generate tourism and inspire other municipalities to do the same.
City Council will be hosting a Strategic Planning meetings where this issue could be brought to their attention. Consider attending the Land Use and Economic Development Workshop with Councilmembers Smedberg and Donley or the Health and Environment Workshop with Councilmembers Krupicka and Pepper on November 4, 2009 at 7:00 in room 2000 in City Hall.
What do YOU think Alexandria can do?