Wednesday, 17 October 2012


Earlier today, I passed while this installation was being removed from one of the public places in the centre of Bergen. It's a passive house (basically a very energy efficient kind of building) that has been exhibited for some time now, and a few weeks ago, I went with my friend Vegar, who is also an architecture student, to see it. There is a huge debate about passive houses in Norway these days, because, although they spend very little energy, they are also very high-tech, and the techo-optimists and the eco-architects do not agree as to whether the quality of air inside a passive house is good enough.

This one is very small, but was fully equipped, and thus still interesting to see. However, the design was awful, with a door and the inside walls made out of a sort of cardboard (which can be really cool, but in this case was used for) imitating wood, and cheap, ugly moulding. Also, the air inside smelled of fart. Needless to say, we were not quite convinced, and I can't say I'll be missing it.


  1. To live in a "passive house" is hazardous to your health, because pumping air through metal tubes reduces the ionization of the air with 10 % for every meter!

    Here are some of the health problems caused by a "passive house" and artificial ventilation:

    1)Inhibition of growth of tissue cell cultures

    2)Increased respiratory rate

    3)Increased basal metabolism

    4)Increased blood pressure

    5)Produced headache, fatigue, nausea

    6)Produced nasal obstructions, sore throat, dizziness

    7)Increased skin temperatures

    8)Depressed rate of ciliary activity

    9)Increased muscle chronaxie

    10)Altered alpha wave of the EEG

    11)Reduced succinic oxidase activity in the adrenals

    12)Increased the blood level of 5-hydroxytryptamine

    Today in Norway the ventilation mafia (the ventilation industry is a billion dollars industry) have tricked the governments to make a law for an exchange of indoor air exchange at 2,5 per hour. This is ridiculous! With healthy and moisture buffering materials, like in an active house (or permaculture house) you don't need more than an indoor air exchange than maximum 1, probably even not more than 0,5.

    It is important to note that when you have no plastic in the walls so they can breathe, indoor toxins and odors will fasten to the water molecules and be transported through the walls. And note, the stable humidity levels caused by moisture regulating materials and fresh air entering your house without being destroyed by tubes, will increase the good ionization of your house, i.e. an increased level of health benefiting negative ionization. The health benefits are:

    1)Decreased respiratory rate

    2)Decreased basal metabolic rate

    3)Decreased blood pressure

    4)Produced a feeling of well being

    5)Increased vital capacity

    6)Decreased skin temperature

    7)Acceleration of the conversion of succinate to fumerate

    8)Stimulation of cytochrome

    9)Decreased eosinophilia and lymphocyte count

    10)Increased CO2 combing power of plasma

    11)Decreased blood sedimentation rate

    12)Decreased muscle chronaxie

    13)Increased ciliary activity

    14)Increased frequency of mitosis

    15)Increased resistance to infection

    16)Suggested as therapy in chronic rhinitis, sinusitis, migraine, insomnia, tuberculosis, wound and burn healing, asthma, hay fever, emphysema, bronchitis, conjunctivitis, chlorine gas poisoning, preventing thromboembolism.

    - Ionization and Air Quality - A Technological Study:

    In addition comes that natural ventilation has no fans and hence is completely free of noise. The monotonous noise of the fans is depressing no matter how low it is. On the contrary, the shivering of the leaves on a tree makes you happy, even the sound is lover than from a ventilation aggregate.

    So for me the choice between a "passive" and an active house is between Heaven or Hell.

    Read about an active house here:

  2. Not sure how I feel about passivhaus either. My lecturers are split too. It's cool to read about one in a first hand experience - thanks!
    I think that maybe an airtight house is maybe unsustainable, even though energy input is low, as there surely are a lot of plastics involved in its creation?

  3. Yes, it's completely sealed with plastic. I'm sceptical.

    Øyvind, why do you believe it's still allowed if it's so dangerous?

  4. Det er tillatt fordi byggenæringen ikke gidder å spille på lag med naturen, dvs. benytte fuktbuffrende og lavemitterende materialer etc som kan kompensere for mindre luftutskifte. De foretrekker mdf-plater, plast og glava istedenfor adobe, trefiberisolasjon og heltrepanel.

    De eneste tilfellene hvor det kan forsvares kunstig ventilasjon er der folk blir utsatt for tobakksrøyk, da dette er en enda verre ionedreper.

  5. Dette er særlig viktig for soverommet:



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...