The Passive House Method

It’s about doing more and using less.  

here, a sentense or two about what this means in terms of delivering standards. 

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A Few of Our Recently Built Passive Projects

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The Christianson Passive House

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Ankeney Row Passive Appartments

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THe Orchard Street Passive House

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Good Question. lets break it down.  

A Passive House is “passive” because it doesn't require an active heating system. Instead, super insulation, high performance windows and doors, and airtight construction keep the building comfortable year round with ultra-low energy use. That means a smaller impact on the environment and smaller energy bills. 

By using comprehensive modeling software to tune passive solar heat gains and avoid overheating. The passive house method can cut energy used for space heating by up to 90%. Passive House certification provides homeowners the assurance that their home will have very low energy usage, with the added benefits of excellent thermal and acoustical comfort. Certification requires a high level of coordination between the architect and the builder throughout the entire design and construction of the building. 

The process begins during design, with detailed study of the impact that building form, materials, and details will have on energy use.  Techniques such as super-insulation, air sealing, avoidance of thermal bridges, and high-performance windows are used to ensure minimal energy loss during both the heating and cooling seasons. 

Efficient mechanical systems (typically consisting of a heat pump and a heat recovery ventilator) ensure that the home will stay comfortable with minimal energy use.  With over 1 million square feet of Passive House projects completed worldwide, Passive House certification has consistently produced the highest performing buildings in a wide range of project types and climate zones around the world.

What is Passive House exactly?

 

Key Features

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Super Insulation

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High Performance windows & Doors

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Airtight construction

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Lets talk Dollars & Cents

its about spending a bit more at the start to save a lot in the long run. 

In housing, being passive puts you in the forefront of change. The Passiv Haus movement, inspired by experimental building in North America in the 1970’s, took root in Germany in the early 1990’s. To date, more than 15,000 buildings in Europe have been certified. A Passive House is “passive” because it does not require an active heating system. Instead, you invest in insulation, super-efficient windows and doors, and a tight shell, with the costs recouped by savings on your heating system and a smaller photovoltaic array.
Passive House design uses comprehensive modeling software to tune passive solar heat gains and avoid overheating. It cuts energy used for space heating up to 90%.
A recent surge in interest in the United States, particularly high in our region, indicates that architects and builders are ready to consider Passive House design standards. With our relatively mild winters, the Pacific Northwest is well suited to this building system. It is adaptable for both new construction and retrofit / remodel projects. In a Passive House, you enjoy a modern standard of living with a very low carbon footprint.

Passive House is an integrated set of design principles for lowering energy demand to a practical minimum.
In the Orchard Street Passive House, primary elements include:
•Ultra-low energy use (maximum of 4.75kBtu/sq. ft. per year for space heating)
•Super Insulation (combinations of closed cell and open cell spray foam, cellulose and rigid board insulation for R-85 Roof / R-70 Walls / R-90 Floor)
•Thermal Bridge-Free Construction (double 2×4 wall assembly modeled in THERM 5.2)
•Air Tightness (must achieve maximum 0.6 air changes per hour – 0.60 ACHS – for certification)
•High Performance Windows and Doors (Unilux UltraThermo triple pane, with U-0.12 and SHGC 0.5)
•High Efficiency Heat Recovery Ventilation (Zehnder ComfoAir 350, 84% efficient)

The energy to operate a conventional home far outweighs the initial embodied energy to build it. By putting attention and resources upfront during design and construction, Passive House offers minimal impact. As Katrin Klingenberg, Director of Passive House Institute US states, “In Europe PH is the cheapest way to build when taking life cycle cost into account.”

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