November 17, 2015

Progressive Vancouver Mayor pushes for "Passive Houses" that may be health hazard

Christopher WilsonRebel Commentator

Vancouverites have been getting the climate change nudges that Brian Lilley spoke about here for years under progressive Mayor Gregor Robertson.

Robertson and his Vision Vancouver team have been at the forefront of pushing every imaginable expensive and ineffective solution to the social justice problems that seem to plague them without ever considering the potential down-side of what they are imposing on us.

In just the latest example of trend-hopping, Rebel contributor Marc Schenker joins me to discuss Gregor's latest passion of "Passive Houses" and points out the possible health risks Robertson may be over-looking in his zeal to get Vancouverites to buy into this latest fashion in housing before proper research has been done.


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commented 2015-11-18 13:37:05 -0500
“I get fresh air by opening a window. No need for any ventilation, simple and effective. "

I live in Winnipeg. Not only is opening a window horrendously inefficient (heat is expensive! I’d love to recover 80% of it, rather than none), but there are simple practical considerations. Even leaving the windows not tightly closed generates an uncomfortable draft in the dead of winter. Thermal recovery is win-win.

OF course, it’s your prerogative to waste money heating the outdoors, but don’t come back to us whining about how you’re broke and it’s cause taxes are too high.
commented 2015-11-18 13:12:28 -0500
Robertson is pushing this for G.Soros.
commented 2015-11-18 12:07:01 -0500
The technology is always morphing, and that is a good thing. What isn’t good is having this stuff mandated, especially by a mayor? The reason everybody does not live in one of these houses is the cost. The people who want to pay for it should have it, leave the government out of it. Is Gregor Robertson trying to destroy the building industry in Van. completely? Its already the most expensive city in Canada to live in!!

Good post Guy Fraser.
Daniel Mallie, I have to agree. Not a very informed commentary.
commented 2015-11-18 01:17:44 -0500
Gregor Robertson is dumber than a sack of doorknobs, sorry, door levers. Door knobs have been banned by some lefty progressive in Vancouver.
Liberalism is a mental disorder.
commented 2015-11-17 20:02:29 -0500
K Martens, I get fresh air by opening a window. No need for any ventilation, simple and effective.

On another note, I wonder if St David of the Motorbike has passive houses on any of his Vancouver properties?
commented 2015-11-17 19:09:02 -0500
Lets let the consumer decide and get the Mayor to piss off and stay out of everyone else business.
commented 2015-11-17 15:54:27 -0500
Hopefully the mayor will be one of the first purchaser of these S-Boxes now that he has sold his million dollar home in Vancouver. Or will he invoke the lefty mantra: Do as I say not as I do.
commented 2015-11-17 15:12:04 -0500
Who pays for it?
commented 2015-11-17 15:06:26 -0500
@christopher Wilson – Your facts are wrong. I do not know what regulations are in Belgium but in Canada at 10% fresh air MUST be exchanged in any residence or business. There is a device used in buildings such as you talk about called a heat exchanger that allows outside air to be brought in and inside air exhausted without wasting a lot of energy. Dust, trapped raydon gas and other fairy tales are no more an issue than a regular house.
I come from an Engineering Background and have done a lot of research in low utility cost housing and communities. I am definitely not a fan of David Suzuki, Al Gore or any of those other hair on fire idiots claiming Carbon Dioxide is a pollutant; In fact I believe it is plant food and we could benefit from levels over 1200 ppm. I am an advocate of Reduce, Re-Use, Repair and Recycle. If you can efficiently build a house that can efficiently and effectively use ambient conditions and have a very low need for energy from utilities, then why should you be against it? Who cares if it looks like a box on the outside? Does a room not look like a box on the inside? The outside of a house is nothing but a facade and even a passive house can be made to look like a colonial mansion if you want to make it cost a lot more.
I have a friend who was building one of these houses in Edmonton but the City decided to put in a stop work for a couple years before it had siding or windows and it was destroyed by birds and squirrels burrowing in the insulation.
commented 2015-11-17 14:06:37 -0500
The style of house is also not a function of being a passive home, it is the style of those that want to be recognized for having a new home in an old neighbourhood. Passive home can look like “regular” homes, they may just have larger windows and more open internal spaces. This is really stupid commentary in contrast to what I usually enjoy on therebel
commented 2015-11-17 13:42:08 -0500
I am sure Mr. Wilson would have said exactly the same thing about fibreglass insulation when that first came out. I suppose that if you really insist on throwing money away on antiquated construction, then that’s your prerogative, but don’t whine about how much it costs to heat. Building a house to minimize heating costs is inherently conservative.

The principles of “passive houses” have been known for many decades. Heat pumps are efficient and proven. It’s … a furnace, except it has a condenser coil instead of a natural gas burner. Air recirculation? Must be nice, my older house has none. Solar heat? Yeah, that’s totally unhealthy. Why do you think they favour deciduous trees for landscaping? It’s so that you get some sun in winter, yet shade in summer.

What a strange thing to get worked up about. I’d love to reduce my heating costs to nearly nothing.
commented 2015-11-17 13:31:46 -0500
bad air? This type of house actually has BETTER air than most houses. These commentators don’t know what they are talking about. Continuous air exchange with the outside air, with HRV (heat recovery ventilation) plus ground-sourced and heated fresh air. Wow, I would love to live in a house like that. Sure, it costs a bit more, but isn’t your health worth it?