Reduced need, extended lifecycle, more choice and less energy and water usage.
Structure and Envelope
Green building begins with responsibly grown trees and careful use of resources during framing. Cutting edge insulation techniques and even green roofs reduce energy demands and water penetration.
Systems and Utilities
Heat recovery ventilators, instant heat/hot water units, radiant floors, solar panels, hardwired LED lighting and even green roofs are ways to create a ecologically and economically sound home.
Recycled, renewable, non-toxic, locally made, energy-efficient, ethically sourced, durable… There is a green solution for everything from paint, adhesives and appliances to counters, cabinets, flooring and fixtures.
Building or renovating to the Passive House standard is the most cost-effective way to achieve an energy efficient home. Passive Homes use only 10-20% of the energy as a house built to the building code.
Passive homes are designed and constructed to eliminate thermal bridging (the transfer of heat or cold between the exterior and interior of a house). We achieve this by essentially framing three walls and ensure no piece of wood spans the whole distance from the inside to the outside of the building. So, there is no route for heat and cold to travel – which results in an interior climate that is easy and cheap to heat and cool.
For new Passive Homes, so much can be determined in the early siting and design phase. Site orientation should take advantage of Southern light and minimize glazing on darker exposure. Building design should aim to minimize the ratio of exterior surface area to interior volume, while still creating a beautiful home that responds to it’s surroundings.
It Gets Even Better
Now that you have an extremely tight and efficient wall system, let’s list some of the other features of a passive house.
- A Heat Recovery Ventilator brings in fresh air from the outside while exhausting stale air.
- A Heat Pump or simple electric heating element can be used to heat incoming air through the HRV, thus eliminating the need for other heating systems.
- Triple Pane Windows and efficient doors further reduce typical thermal bridging.
- Thermal Mass can harness solar heat and release it slowly, again reducing non-passive energy needs.