Sicily presents Passive House pilot project: PHI founder Prof. Wolfgang Feist to attend conference in Catania

Wikipedia photo: The dark colours on this thermogram of a Passive house, at right, shows how little heat is escaping compared to a traditional building to the left.
Wikipedia photo: The dark colours on this thermogram of a Passive house, at right, shows how little heat is escaping compared to a traditional building to the left.

      Darmstadt. Passive House is synonymous with energy efficiency, even in Mediterranean climates. This has been proven with the latest Passive House project in Sicily. Recent developments on the Italian island are to be presented this week in Catania, where Passive House Institute founder Professor Wolfgang Feist, together with other regional stakeholders, will discuss the vast potential this construction method offers the Mediterranean region. Visits to various model houses are also planned as part of the conference, organised within framework of the EU project PassREg.

Technical details of the Passive House concept as well as relevant institutional frameworks will be treated at this event in the provincial capital. Carmelo   Sapienza, designer of the first Passive House in Sicily, will share his valuable experience in getting his detached house, situated at the foot of Mount Etna, built – a home Sapienza and his family have occupied since December 2012. Professor Lorenzo Pagliano of the Polytechnic Institute in Milan will report on the special challenges faced by extremely energy-efficient buildings in the hot southern regions of Europe .

Sicily is one of the aspiring regions in the EU sponsored PassREg project (Passive House Regions with Renewable Energies), under the coordination of the Passive House Institute. The project aims to study the success factors of European frontrunners in the field of energy efficient construction. The experiences gained and the solutions applied by these frontrunners will then be transferred to other regions and adapted to local conditions. In this way,  regional stakeholders may optimise existing concepts and receive support with their implementation.

Such support is key to meeting the EU Directive on Energy Performance in Buildings, which sets stringent energy efficiency goals for all buildings as of 2020. The Passive House Standard already meets these requirements. Several studies on Passive House have shown that this construction method, developed in Central Europe , is both technically feasible and economical under a wide variety of different climatic conditions. Successful Passive House examples in the Mediterranean region can not only be found in Sicily, but also in the Balkans and in Spain .

This PassREg Conference in Sicily, taking place on 22 March 2013, is being organised by the research group eERG (end use Efficiency Research Group) of the Polytechnic Institute in Milan  in cooperation with the Province of Catania and the regional energy agency APEA (Agenzia Provinciale per l’Ambiente ed l’Energia). The eERG is an Italian partner of the EU project. Further information regarding PassREg and the conference programme (in Italian) can be found at:

The Editor
The Editor
Times of Sicily | Sicily in English

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