We are so happy to announce that we are officially certified Passive House Builders! After our team attended the 14th Annual North American Passive House Conference in Washington DC., they then spent several days taking the classes to become Certified Passive House Builders.
In March we found out that we officially passed with flying colors. We really believe that Passive House is one of the highest standards of quality and building performance. Beyond that, we believe the Passive House standard makes the most sense for almost all aspects of construction and we are excited to start putting this knowledge to use in more of our projects. Some of you may be asking what this means exactly, so perhaps it’s best to define it first.
PHIUS defines passive house construction in this way:
Passive building comprises a set of design principles used to attain a quantifiable and rigorous level of energy efficiency within a specific quantifiable comfort level. “Optimize your gains and losses” based on climate summarizes the approach. To that end, a passive building is designed and built in accordance with these five building-science principles:
- Employs continuous insulation throughout its entire envelope without any thermal bridging.
- The building envelope is extremely airtight, preventing infiltration of outside air and loss of conditioned air.
- Employs high-performance windows (double or triple-paned windows depending on climate and building type) and doors – solar gain is managed to exploit the sun’s energy for heating purposes in the heating season and to minimize overheating during the cooling season.
- Uses some form of balanced heat- and moisture-recovery ventilation.
- Uses a minimal space conditioning system.
In other words, a passive house building focuses on creating an energy-efficient, comfy, healthy, durable, and resilient structure by meeting rigorous performance standards. The standards create achievable goals that can be accomplished through a variety of techniques. The Passive House standards consider not only energy efficiency but overall energy use. They focus on reducing energy consumption which helps the environment and lowers a home’s impact on the grid.
The understanding and emphasis on controlling moisture, air, and heat, create an incredibly comfortable house with ideal relative humidity, temperature, and healthier air. The buildings are also more durable under standard use and are more resilient to disasters. Passive House is one of the highest standards of quality and building performance.
This type of construction and building use consumes 46.7% of energy generated by our society. Although this statistic is daunting it also means that improvements in construction techniques moving forward can be a valuable asset in reducing our environmental impact. We have the technology to drastically reduce energy consumption in every building we work on, for many decades to come.
We really look forward to offering this building standard to our clients here in Monroe County, and hopefully pave the way to a better understanding and overall growth in this type of construction in our state. Check out one of our first projects here where we instituted the practice of Eco Sealing for optimal air sealing.
Blueprint Designs by Tom Bassett-Dilley Architects