Stroma says yesVentilation with heat recovery is absolutely essential in energy efficient construction. The application of such systems in practice often fails due to high costs, though. In order to promote low-cost approaches which can facilitate the breakthrough of this key technology in the mass market, the Passive House Institute has announced the Component Award 2016 for ventilation solutions for residential buildings. All-inclusive concepts are being sought for an existing building, which are not only highly energy efficient but also economical. The Award will be presented at the 20th International Passive House Conference, which will be held from 22 – 23 April 2016 in Darmstadt.

A typical 1960s building is the evaluation basis for the Component Award 2016. What matters is a life cycle assessment that takes into account all costs – for the device itself, but also for components, ductwork, installation, and other necessary expenses such as encasing of the ventilation unit or suspended ceilings. At the same time, the jury will also take into account aspects such as practicability with reference to installation and utilisation as well as architectural and design features for the devices’ integration. Detailed tendering documents are now available online.

“The advantages of a ventilation system with heat recovery are quite obvious – it combines maximum energy efficiency with optimal indoor comfort. If appropriate systems are also offered at attractive prices, then there is nothing standing in the way of their market uptake”, says Dr. Wolfgang Feist, Director of the Passive House Institute. This has already worked in the case of windows – where the trend has long since shifted towards triple glazing in many countries. That highly energy-efficient Passive House windows now constitute the most cost-effective option for every building owner in these countries was made possible not least by previous Component Awards.

All ventilation units which have been certified by the Passive House Institute may be entered for the Component Award 2016. Innovative solutions for step-by-step retrofits may also be submitted even if these are still at the prototype stage; cost predictability is the decisive factor. Participation by interdisciplinary teams consisting of building services engineers, architects and manufacturers is expressly welcomed. The entry deadline is 31 December 2015. This competition is part of the EU-funded project EuroPHit. Further information about this EU project and the Component Award is available online on: