Offering Passive House Design to your clients gives you a unique opportunity to distinguish yourself as a progressive architect or consultant, to create innovative designs, engage in highly profitable projects, and contribute longer-term to bettering the environment.
For homeowners seeking the best of all worlds, Passive House Design blends modern comfort, healthier living, energy efficiency, and environmental friendliness. But for the most part, Passive House Design is a concept likely to be foreign to most of your clients.
And that’s where you play a critical role.
Your Critical Role as an Educator and Trusted Advisor
By introducing and educating your clients about the benefits of Passive House Design, you’ll be seen as a respected authority in the field and as a valued, trusted advisor. It’s well-known that clients are more likely to do business with those who educate them, those whom they perceive as authorities.
As an architect or design consultant, the technical aspects of Passive House Design stimulate intellectual and creative interest. But to the homeowner, the direct benefits of Passive House Design are more important than the technical considerations.
Homeowners who are unfamiliar with Passive House concepts and associated terminology typically want to know:
- What’s so great about Passive House Design?
- Why should I bother?
- What’s in it for me?
- Is it worth it?
Share the Benefits of Passive House Design with Your Clients
Homeowners in conventionally-designed homes commonly experience drafts, hot spots, and cold spots. In contrast, Passive House owners feel comfortably warm in the winter and refreshingly cool in the summer because indoor humidity and temperatures remain consistent throughout the entire year.
Noise from the street, loud neighbors, clanky radiators, and loud air conditioners commonly plague home dwellers. But Passive House dwellers are insulated from street noise and boisterous neighbors. Passive House Design also eliminates the need for loud, bulky, and less efficient mechanical heating and cooling equipment.
Healthier Air Inside their Home
In the conventional home, air stagnates in many areas, especially bathrooms and kitchens. These conditions promote the growth of mildew and mold, as well as trap odors and harmful chemicals. In contrast, the Passive House is designed to continually remove stale air, dust, allergens, airborne odors, chemicals, and fumes. Filtered, fresh outdoor air and balanced humidity results in a healthier quality of air throughout their home, a benefit for all Passive House homeowners, especially asthmatics and allergy sufferers.
Energy-Efficient and Environmentally-Friendly
Passive house homeowners can reduce their energy use by 75-95% over conventional designs. And the need for maintenance-intensive, conventional gas or oil HVAC equipment is replaced by a considerably more efficient and environmentally-friendly electrical HVAC system.
Address Your Clients’ Concerns about the Drawbacks of Passive House Design
As a trusted advisor, one of the important aspects of thoroughly educating your clients includes discussing the challenges associated with Passive House Design. Due to the increased amount of insulation and high-specification windows and doors plus the need to use properly certified contractors, the initial costs, both for new build and renovations, can be higher than conventional designs. With retrofits, unexpected findings during demolition can require solutions that raise the project costs. Encourage your clients to consider the expected and unexpected costs associated with Passive House Design in the context of the anticipated savings from significantly lowered heating and cooling bills.
In many parts of the world, the local climate and exact position of the house need to be carefully considered and affect every design detail from the size and position of windows to the thickness of insulation. Clients can rest assured that in the New York City area, Passive House Design has already been accomplished in numerous residences while retaining the traditional features and charm they value. This includes buildings in New York City that have been granted landmark protection!
Move the Project Forward by Appealing to Your Clients’ Values
Whether committing to Passive House Design or buying their next car, people make buying decisions based on their values.
Clients contemplating Passive House Design are likely to be attracted not just by the enhanced creature comforts and money savings, but also by the opportunity to minimize their impact on the environment.
By first discovering the values of your clients, you’ll better understand which of the benefits of Passive House Design are most likely to stoke their interest and enthusiasm in working with you on a Passive House Design project.
Clearly, Passive House Design boosts the desirability of a property significantly. Therefore, in addition to all the benefits described above, Passive House owners can feel more confident that the market value of their property will also increase commensurately.
Putting Passive House Design into Action
We recognize that introducing Passive House Design to potential clients may feel uncomfortable to some architects and design consultants at first. Some may have concerns that discussing the additional considerations related to Passive House may be too radical to a client who had planned a conventional design, having previously never heard about Passive House and its remarkable benefits.
In our experience and observation, this has not proven to be the case. In fact, clients are frequently excited to learn about the Passive House concept. Even if they ultimately choose a conventional design, they still may be more likely to select you because you have educated and informed them more thoroughly than many of your competitors. An effective way to start out such a conversation is to simply ask if they are open to hearing about an alternative to traditional design that can lower their heating and cooling bills, feel more comfortable year round, and help the environment.
At Brace Enterprises, we’re especially excited about supporting and advancing the Passive House Design movement. We believe that when we help you to better educate your clients about the remarkable benefits of Passive House Design and its multifaceted advantages over conventional designs, we all win.
Because of our commitment to work exclusively with great clients who value and appreciate the quality of our work, we’ve extensively studied what motivates people to make buying decisions, what gets their attention, and what turns them away. And we’re happy to share with you what we’ve learned and field-tested as well as the tools and resources we use.
We invite you to contact us to explore ways we can help you to introduce Passive House Design to your clients and incorporate Passive House Design into your next project without the typical worries that come with integrating new technologies.