Currently in the design phase on a passive house project to be built in Seattle. If you are not familiar with the concept, here’s the basics, excerpted from our passive house consultant’s website, and also edited by our architectural firm NK Architects:
Goal: Passivhaus! (also known as passive house) offers a well-proven, predictable, cost-effective way to reduce the heating demand of buildings by up to ninety per cent (90%!) and overall energy use by up to seventy per cent (70%).
How does it work? A Passive House building is a very well-insulated, virtually air-tight building that is primarily heated by passive solar gain and by internal gains from people, electrical equipment, etc. Energy losses are minimized. Any remaining heat demand is provided by an extremely small source. Avoidance of heat gain through shading and window orientation also helps to limit any cooling load, which is similarly minimized. An energy/heat recovery ventilator provides a constant, balanced fresh air supply. The result is an impressive system that not only saves up to 90% of space heating costs, but also provides uniquely terrific indoor air quality.
Passive house is now required by code in several countries in northern Europe.
Proposed Design in Madison Park: For this house to meet the strict energy standards, we need an additional 12” of insulation on the outside of the structural walls and a minimum of 26” insulation in the roof. The opportunity to eliminate the furnace in this home has significant community and occupant benefits to be sure.
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