Book review: Positive energy homes – creating passive houses for better living

Dr Robin Brimblecombe and Dr Kara Rosemeier’s Positive energy homes will not only be valuable for anyone looking to embrace some or all of the principles of Passive House design, construction and technology, it is also a fantastic primer on the fundamental principles of building physics.

It steps through topics in a logical and well-ordered way, including air quality, thermal comfort, air tightness, technology and managing energy use.

As well as explaining how things work and why they matter in an easy-to-read manner, the authors also suggest cost-effective ways of testing key elements of building performance.

This includes the use of infrared imaging to verify insulation installation, and how to measure the moisture content in a building’s indoor air.

Plenty of photos, diagrams, examples and highlighted key facts break the text up beautifully, and add to the user-friendly feel of the book. The writing style is also down to earth and has a lovely touch of lightness and vernacular speech about it.

In addition to looking at the stand-alone dwelling, the final part of the book widens the lens to discuss positive energy communities and positive energy districts, and how they have benefits for both planetary and personal wellbeing.

Useful further reading and pointers towards other resources are also liberally scattered through each section.

This book is highly recommended for anyone that wants an all-round resource for making homes that are sustainable and comfortable.

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