Archive for February, 2011

February 25, 2011

15th International Passive House Conference 2011 in Tyrol!

15th International Passive House Conference 2011

Ernest Hemingway is quoted to have said: “We can’t ever go back to old things…or find things the way we remembered them”. Well, Innsbruck is still encircled with magical snow capped mountains, and the Golden roof is still golden. Most visitors find something here for everyone.

The Passive House in Tyrol

For the first time, the Passive House Conference will take place in the heart of the mountains. While mountain regions are particularly affected by climate change, they have always been accustomed to harsh conditions and Tyrol is no exception. Tyrol boasts an array of outstanding Passive House projects and first-class refurbishments. Indeed, one of the first manufacturers of Passive House windows is located here.

Tyrol can be seen as a model, having instituted a regional sustainability strategy that is being taken seriously. The development of Passive Houses regionally is a theme well-suited to Tyrol and as such, the decision to bring the International Passive House Conference here was long overdue.

Naturally, climatic conditions and architectural traditions differ between regions. There is no clearly defined solution for all locations nor does the Passive House Standard claim to provide such a solution. Instead, the Passive House Standard provides the means for designing buildings most suited to their respective climatic, architectural and cultural conditions.

This places high demands on the architects and engineers while encouraging regional diversity and opening up opportunities for property developers, manufacturers and craftsmen. The creative solutions developed in various regions motivate others while bringing added value for all. In this light, the Conference offers a unique and vital forum for exchange.

by Dr. Wolfgang Feist

Univ.-Prof. of the Building Physics Unit,

University of Innsbruck and Director of the Passive House Institute, Darmstadt

NEW! Passive House Basic Course:

The Passive House Institute, in cooperation with the University of Innsbruck and iPHA – The International Passive House Association, is delighted to offer an introductory, English-language Passive House seminar as a precursor to the 15th International Passive House Conference. Entitled Passive House Basics, this full-day course is ideal for both first time Conference participants and for all those wishing to refresh their Passive House knowledge. Passive House essentials such as heating and cooling, airtightness and thermal bridge free construction, indoor air quality, ventilation, cost-efficiency as well as built examples in various climate zones will be covered by prominent Passive House experts, including Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Feist himself. Come celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Passive House by letting Passive House Basics bring you up to speed and help us take the Passive House Standard into its third decade.

Learn more : http://www.passivhaustagung.de/

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February 15, 2011

Free trade area: a little bit of optimism

Kyiv-UkraineBy Vitalii KNIAZHANSKY, The Day

Time has shown that moving toward Europe and joining the EU is Ukraine’s best choice for a national project. Actually, nobody disagrees. Yet despite being part of Europe historically and geographically, our way there has been slow and painful (and now it is topped by Europe’s economic woes). But Ukraine sees the light at the end of the tunnel more and more clearly.

First, the parties agreed upon the objective of our movement. So far it is not membership in the EU but an association agreement, a kind of  prelude (usually short but sometimes not) to it. Second, it’s a visa-free entrance for citizens of Ukraine to EU countries. And third, it is a free trade area between Ukraine and the EU. The latter provides unprecedented prospects for Ukraine, as it allows us to enter a huge, civilized market. At the same time, we must open our market as well, providing free access to European goods and services. Ukraine will benefit from it, since European knowledge and technologies will change the face of our country. Thus, society has seen promising signals regarding its European prospects.

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