Gary Vaynerchuk, the social media superstar and business leader, released a book in 2013 called “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook” (#JJJRH) which uses a Boxing analogy to highlight the best approach to using social media channels. Jabbing is giving value to your followers & community, and the follow up Right Hook is asking for something, whether this be attention or sales. This means at least 75% of your posting on social media should be about giving value and sharing useful information and insights with your followers and community, not asking for attention or for a sale. Everyone appreciates generosity over being repeatedly asked for attention.

What has this got to do with passivhaus? The Passivhaus Standard is most well known as “the world’s leading standard in energy efficient design.” And energy efficiency asks building owners and occupants for something. It asks them to at least modify their behaviour and to pay more attention to the operation of their building. However, energy efficiency is actually only part of passivhaus. People don’t often realise that the Passivhaus Standard is also a rigorous comfort standard that ensures a building is free from draughts, free from cold spots, free from excessive over heating and provided with a constant supply of fresh clean air. And it does so with the minimum amount of energy.

Passivhaus throws an outstanding “Jab, Jab, Jab” of occupant comfort before hitting home with the solid “Right Hook” of energy efficiency.

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The mainstream approach to sustainable design is business-as-usual architecture with some easy bolt-on “sustainable features.” Easy solutions like this are what got us into the current mess: buildings contributing 40% of our CO2 emissions as we enter the anthropocene. (Have you read my manifesto?) Designing to the passivhaus standard means accepting more constraints and this requires more effort; it’s not an easy solution. A rigorous process must be followed. However, the passivhaus standard is actually very simple with clear performance benchmarks that must be met. And the results are simple: no complex offsetting or complex carbon calculating is necessary.

Passivhaus buildings simply reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions, by design.

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