2014 has been a great year of activity and growth at 475. Let’s take a quick tour:
Enhanced Customer Service is first and foremost in our minds and we hit important milestones growing our capabilities, including:
- A new distribution warehouse located in Oregon for speedy west coast delivery.
- Regional Product Consultant Kent Lessly in the Mid-Atlantic states. We also have new logistics and product support at our headquarters with Phil Miceli and Craig Toohey.
- We have started providing product installation videos.
- Finally, we relaunched our redesigned the www.foursevenfive.com website. (See press release.)
Introduction of New Products are a critical part of transforming construction to high performance standards and we were excited to introduce several important new products:
- Multitherm and Ultatherm wood fiberboard by GUTEX. Read the Primer.
- EXTOSEAL Encors, Finoc and Magov tapes by Pro Clima.
- eGO single room ventilation unit by Lunos.
- designPH and IP unit PHPP energy balance software by the Passive House Institute.
Knowledge Resources development is an essential part of the 475 core mission to enable market transformation, and this year we took significant steps forward, starting with our revamped website and including:
- In-person training options expanded to include a four-hour Make It Tight seminar, comprehensively covering the building science and practical application of airtightness.
- On-Site Video Series showing real-world product applications and the people and companies making it happen: with Edenworks, New Frameworks Natural Design Build and Jane Sanders & Build with Prospect.
- More Project Spotlights, including several from New England regional product consultant Oliver Klein on projects in Middlesex VT, Alford MA and Ashfield MA.
- Discussion of current building science issues, such as support of Joe Lstiburek’s stance on ASHRAE 62.2 ventilation requirements, in blog post Joe is Right. An 8 point ventilation reality check.
- Discussion of larger issues of market transformation including how we can learn from the success of Greenpeace in 5 Things Greenpeace Can Teach Passive House Advocates .
- We furthered the investigation of the use of WUFI in posts about high-performance double-stud walls and historic masonry assemblies.
- 475 Partner Floris Keverling Buisman toured west coast cities with the founder of Pro Clima, Lothar Moll, to give a special series of lectures on airtightness and moisture control. Read about it here.
- We continued our Foam Fails series with an installment on Excessive Shrinkage.
- Last but far from least, with great assistance from Justin Uhr, we released the first 475 eBook, High Performance Historic Masonry Retrofits (as reviewed by Treehugger and Green Building Advisor).
Press is vital to getting the word out. Here is a selection:
- A Passivhaus-Certified Skylight hits the U.S., GreenBuildingAdvisor.com
- Wrapping an Old House in a Passive House Puffy Jacket, JLC Online, the first of a string of great articles featuring Chris Corson and EcoCor.
- Testing Pressure-Sensitive Tapes – Rounds Two and Three, BuildingGreen.com
- New Green Products – May 2014, GreenBuildingAdvisor.com
- Enclosing and Strapping a Passive House Roof, JLC Online
- Free book tells you how to insulate old brick buildings without them falling apart in a few years, Treehugger.com
Outreach is an important part of our efforts and this past year we saw significant accomplishments:
- 475 partner, Ken Levenson, wrote two reports regarding the 2014 International Passive House Conference, A Passivhaus Conference in Germany for GreenBuildingAdvisor.com and Report from Germany (Part 2): Having Fun with Passive House for the 475 blog.
- Should You Expect Overheating in a Passivhaus? was a House Planning Help podcast interview by Ben Adam-Smith featuring Ken.
- Ken provided a talk on Passive House as part of the Festival of Conscience after a performance of the play Extreme Whether about climate change in NYC.
- Ken became a co-president of the North American Passive House Network and both Floris and Ken continue their active leadership of New York Passive House, sponsoring and actively helping produce successful Passive House conferences, NY14PH in New York City and NAPHN14 Portland, Maine.
- Floris continued as an adjunct professor at City College teaching an integrated systems course focused on sustainable, low-energy buildings.
As we head into 2015 we are excited about working with our great customers and suppliers and helping transform our industry toward a low-carbon future. We look forward to being in touch!