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Hygiene Ventilation--Heard of It?

Updated: Sep 25, 2020

Antonio Pacheco, Archinect News, recently published his view that "Hygiene Ventilation" is only feasible from an energy perspective for Passive House buildings, because conventional buildings may require up to six times the amount of energy to maintain 100% fresh air circulation. See "Hygiene ventilation and the case for Green Stimulus."

It's broadly understood that increasing the flow of fresh air into a building is essential to reduce the spread of viruses. Recirculated air, while it makes energy conservation sense, doesn't address the potential spread of pathogens.

Hygiene Ventilation is an approach that uses 100% fresh air to ensure that mechanical systems don't contribute to the air quality risks to human health. However, the energy challenges, especially for old, leaky buildings, are significant. Passive House and it's existing building sibling, EnerPHit, are the only feasible ways to cost-effectively reach Hygiene Ventilation.

To understand how to achieve this level of performance in a new or existing building, email me at


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