passive house /’pæsiv hΛus/ n. An internationally recognized, performance based energy standard in construction. The primary aim is to achieve exceptional energy efficiency while maintaining superior inhabitant comfort. [German Passivhaus]
A little over a year ago Westeck became aware of the Passive House standard and its many benefits for consumers and society at large. The 3 principle benefits to adopt a Passive House building standard are:
- Comfort: both thermal comfort and a high quality indoor environment
- Climate Change: offers a proven path to reduce carbon emissions
- Quality: reduced operating and maintenance costs as well as increased durability
The standard is based on the following 5 principles:
- Continuous Insulation
- Airtight Barrier Layers
- Controlled Ventilation
- Solar Gain and Loss through Design
- High Performance Windows and Doors
During our research it started to become clear that Passive House is not only a great idea for Westeck to support, it is actually more our responsibility to support! Westeck is driven to provide products that make peoples’ lives better and not to provide products that simply ‘fill the hole.’ How better for us to achieve this than producing products that make our customers more comfortable, increase the quality of their home and by positively contributing towards a more sustainable future for them and their children. These are values that align with Westeck perfectly.
After attending educational Passive House events and open houses it became clear that many of the windows and doors being utilized are actually still being imported from Europe. Unable to accept that Europeans are the only ones who can build great fenestration products the challenge was on and our technical department immersed themselves fully into the science of Passive House. As a midsize manufacturer of middle to high end products our goal has always been to provide beautiful and high performing windows, patio doors and swing doors, so how tough would this Passive House standard be to meet? Well, with a Passive House required U-value that is over 2X higher than that of existing regulation, we soon learned that it is harder than one might think!
Still learning, we have so far discovered that every component must be examined for its performance. There are no silver bullet solutions and that achieving a product that is worthy of being Passive House certified is the result of a collection of solutions. It is the culmination of great materials and design. This has led us to adopt a higher performing glass spacer, new profiles, reinforcements and a general rethink of what makes a great window and door.
We are proud that our new Wood Casement window is now a Passive House Certified Component and that we are finalizing Certification for our Vinyl Tilt and Turn. With more product development underway, Westeck will be able to better meet the demands for Passive House products now and into the future. This will be our way to help make our customers lives better.
About Westeck Windows and Doors
Westeck Windows and Doors now has 30+ sales professionals, across offices in British Columbia (Vancouver, Chilliwack, Victoria, Nanaimo, Kelowna) Alberta (Calgary) and Washington State (Seattle), as well as an extensive dealer network throughout North America. Westeck employs over 200 people, with the majority working out of the corporate facility in Chilliwack, British Columbia.