Passive House Certified in Louisiana is the First in the South
The first certified Passive House in the South was recently completed in Lafeyette, Louisiana, by Corey Saft, a professor of architecture at the University of Louisiana at Lafeyette. The completion of this three bedroom, two bath, 1,200 square foot home, adjacent to Saft's own home, demonstrates that the Passive House is viable in a hot and humid climate. The house is kept cool by a small one-ton mini-split air-conditioning system, coupled with an energy recovery ventilator that circulates fresh air throughout the house. A solar electric array is inset into the house's steel roof. Saft's Passive House uses 90% less energy than a conventional house of a similar size.
The first Passive House was built in Germany in 1990, but Passive Houses have been somewhat slow to spread to the United States, with the first one being built in 2003. To be certified as a Passive House, a house must be extremely well insulated and air-tight to prevent heat transfer from the outdoors. Saft's Passive House, which has extra thick walls filled with open-cell spray foam insulation, meets these standards. Passive Houses are finally beginning to catch on in the United States.