A Passive Home Design
What is a Passive Home? When you hear the word passive, you may think of passive solar homes, but Passive Homes are much more than that. Passive Homes are the most energy efficient homes in the world! They are so efficient because their entire envelope, or shell is designed to be ultra tight and very, very good at keeping the heat where it belongs, in summer or winter.
Passive Homes are homes that are designed to need very little, if any energy for heating and cooling. Therefore, they generally require no heating or cooling system to provide heating or cooling for the home. Not only does this reduce initial building costs, but the operating costs for heating and cooling are drastically reduced. And because over its life, the operating costs for a home always far outweigh the initial building costs, the future operating costs ought to take a higher priority when building or remodeling your home.
Here is a Passive Home we designed for a client. Notice that it does not have a ordinary foundation. Rather, it has a modified Frost Protected Shallow Foundation. When done this way, we can insulate the foundation to a much higher standard than an ordinary house.
We also designed this home with double stud walls with a separation between the two framed walls. So we can insulate the walls much more effectively, while using standard systems that all builders are familiar with. The result is lower initial costs to build the house and yet very high insulating values.
The windows are not your "standard issue" windows. The typical "energy efficient" or Energy Star windows are really not very efficient windows. There are windows available that are about 5 times more efficient than ones available at building suppliers. When we take into account the solar gain that can be achieved with these windows, they are more efficient than typical "well insulated" walls. This High Performance type of window then, is a big part of the secret to the very high performance of Passive Homes.
The roof uses very thick insulation and is very well air sealed like the entire envelope of the home.
The Design Work is the Key
But there is much more to a Passively Designed Home than just the right parts and pieces. We tie everything together to make every part of these homes work with every other part. Good Passive Design is the biggest part of a well Designed Passive Home. And this is what really makes a Passive Home work as well as it does.
Bottom line is we have a home that uses over 90% less energy than a typical new "energy efficient" home.
Would you like to explore the option of Designing, and/or Remodeling, or Building your "new home" to this standard? Contact Us to start your project today!
Copyright 2012 Ronald Sauve All Rights Reserved
This page was last modified on April 23, 2014
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