Passive Architecture for India – Presenting the Fort St. John Passive House at PLEA Conference in Ahmedabad

Post PLEA Conference Report by Ayme Sharma – Fort St John Passive House Presentation

Passive and Low Energy Architecture (PLEA) is an autonomous, non-profit, network of individuals sharing ex- pertise in the arts, sciences, planning and design of the built environment. It is an international, interdisciplinary forum to promote high quality research, practice and education in environmentally sustainable design.

The goal of the 30th International PLEA Conference (PLEA 2014) was to promote discussion and debate on the opportunities and challenges in passive low energy architecture and design in a rapidly growing world. The conference themes were focused on “the choices we have and the choices we need to make” in order to move towards a more sustainable habitat, especially for developing societies and emerging economies. In particular, the focus was the urgent need to reduce energy use in new and existing buildings in cities with rapid growth and urbanization. In these cities, as the building sector grows, they continue to face major challenges in reduc- ing their dependence on fossil fuels and energy infrastructure.

Passive Architecture PLEA

Passive Architecture PLEA

The Fort St. John Passivhaus poster was 1 of 63 posters on display for all 3 days of the conference. They were displayed in 2 prominent areas for delegates to view during breaks and lunch. Very fortunately, I was able to present the FSJ PH poster on Day 1 of the conference during an afternoon oral presentation session rather than during the rapid oral presentation session. This meant that the presentation had a larger captive audience and that I was also permitted a dedicated Q&A session following my presenta- tion. The presentation was met with a lot of interest from the audience. In particular, the discussion was focused on how what the municipality accomplished could become a model for other communities. They were interested in knowing more about the circumstances that allowed the municipality to take on such an endeavor and whether this could become a model for other municipalities. We discussed the City’s markers of success as described in the paper submission. There was also some discussion about careful commissioning of the project to ensure that it performs as anticipated. This led to a more general discussion about post-occupancy performance evaluation and how this can diverge from design performance. Overall, the audience was quite impressed by the extreme extent that the City went to in order to demonstrate low-energy building to the community.

All the conference details PLUS highlights can be read in Ayme Sharma’s report, which you can download here.

Thanks for the support to our  project partners. Their products have been incremental for achieving the stringent Passive House Standard for the Fort St. John residence:





ROXUL Insulation




OPTIWIN Freisinger Windows   





SIGA Tapes & Membranes