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Passive House News - August 2017

What’s Up - Passive House News - August 2017

Hello!  It’s time for another update of Passive House News from your Pacific Northwest Passive House design+build firm!  Whew - life is pretty exciting when it’s exclaimed!

On with the news! (and important Passive House related dates)

Artisans Group Passive House News

Passive House News

Madison Haus 

Our latest Passive House is a busy construction site these days.  If you're one of the many passers-by then you’ve noticed the progress of foundation, framing, and insulation installation.

Windows will soon be visible.  

Madison has been amazing right from the start, and even the challenges have been great learning opportunities.     

Behind The Scenes

We’ll write more about the whole experience later, but a quick note on building during one of the biggest building booms the Pacific Northwest has ever seen:  WOW!

Everyone...and I mean busy.  Construction coordination has been a case study in organized out-of-the-box thinking.  Because everyone is busy - delivery, installation, and construction windows narrow.  Everyone has another job (or three) to get to.  Our time tested habit of consistently double and triple checking deliverables with all of our suppliers and installation dates with our subcontractors has been a calendar saver on multiple occasions, and even then we’ve had some close calls.  We feel really fortunate that our communication between design and build teams is so thoroughly practiced.  

Between low-interest rates due to rise again, and the world’s discovery of the beautiful Pacific Northwest - it’s a wild, wild construction world throughout our region.  

If you’re thinking about designing and building your dream home, we encourage you to give us a call to discuss the process and current time tables.  In today’s environment, planning to build next Summer is already here.

In today’s environment, planning to build next Summer is already here.

North American Passive House News

David St. Louis CC 2.0 Mosaic Large

  • Just in case you missed it, there was a solar eclipse.  Lloyd Alter wrote an intriguing article about the effect of the eclipse on 2017 America.   Apparently, a loss of up to 9,000 megawatts of solar power were expected.  Our favorite line of Mr. Alter’s piece?  “Passive Houses will be laughing at the eclipse on Monday; the sun could be blotted out for days and they wouldn’t really notice.”
  • In Morningside Pennsylvania, a former school is undergoing a Passive House retrofit (EnerPHit) to become a Senior Housing Center called Morningside Crossing.  As energy costs continue to increase and our knowledge of the importance of indoor air quality expands, the use of Passive House building science to create long term affordable housing solutions for our communities becomes more and more important.  Good on you, Morningside, for making this happen!
  • Handel Architects is looking to build the largest Passive House project in America, right in East Harlem.  The project is part of the New York City’s SustainNYC program.
  • Maine’s GO Logic has launched a Research & Development lab called GO Lab to develop “wood based building products for the high-performance construction market.”  We’re definitely rooting them on as they develop low-density fiberboard (LDF) insulation for use in North America.  Many successful European Passive House projects already feature LDF insulation, and we think LDF would be a great addition to our sustainable design tool belt.      

And last but not least...a real world stress test of Passive House effectiveness -

  • Passive House Canada held an Ice Box challenge in Vancouver.  This challenge feature one Ice Box built to current residential codes, and the other built to the Passive House standard.  Each Ice Box gets “one tonne” of ice, and then sits sealed up and outside for 18 days.  Spoiler alert - Passive House wins again!

Save the Date - Passive House Related Events

2017 Tour of Homes

September 16th & 17th - This year’s Tour of Homes features our newest finished home in the South Sound.  Sustainably designed and built to the hyper-energy efficient Passive House standard, Delphi House is a tribute to our beautiful Pacific Northwest and all of its golden light.

In Delphi, light is welcomed and managed, fresh filtered air gently circulates throughout, and the temperature hovers around 72° (heat wave or cold shock).  With graceful Aging In Place features that complement the overall aesthetic and increase ease of use, the experience of Delphi House manages to be both subtle and revolutionary.

We look forward to our discussions with you on the Tour of Homes, and we thank our gracious hosts for sharing their beautiful new home with us.

Passive House News

September 29th & 30th - PHIUS’s 12th Annual Passive House Conference is in Seattle at the Motif Hotel.  This year’s theme is The Path to Zero Source Energy.

Take a bunch of dedicated building scientists and set them to work on a considerable challenge:  create buildings that produce as much energy as they consume (net-zero is a common term for this) while maintaining contemporary appliances.  Passive House, it turns out, is a very cost effective and practical approach to achieving net-zero reality.  The results are so positive that both the Net-Zero Coalition and U.S. Department of Energy have signed on as Partners of this year’s event.

Artisans Group’s very own Architect and Principal, Tessa Smith, presents with Evan Anderson, of Zola Windows, about Passive House window design on Friday morning.  Windows are can be cold spots....and windows can bake your home.  Evan and Tessa will discuss how thoughtful design and Zola Windows help Passive Houses sing a sweet song - no matter the weather.

I’m excited to learn as much as I possibly can in two days, meet people from across the country involved in this science led building revolution, and write a blog or two during the experience.

We’re also trying out Instagram Stories (from multiple perspectives and locations), so this could have all kinds of unintentional excitement.  Follow us on Instagram!  And register here for the PHIUS Conference.

October 4th-8th - North American Passive House Network holds their annual Conference in Oakland, NAPHN17 Passive+Renewables.  They have a pretty awesome and succinct mission statement for this year’s conference:  “The goal of NAPHN17 ‘Passive + Renewables’ is to promote and accelerate the adoption of Passive House building strategies in North America, and to work with others who share our vision for a POST CARBON ALL-RENEWABLE ENERGY FUTURE.”

Our tireless Tessa,will also be present at NAPHN17.  As part of the pre-conference festivities, you’ll be able to find her teaching a course on How To Build A Passive House.

October 27th - Passive House Northwest holds their 2nd Annual East of the Cascades Conference in Boise, Idaho.

If you made it this far, you’re an Artisans Group Passive House August 2017 champion.

We are your award winning, design loving Pacific Northwest Design+Build Passive House experts, and we look forward to talking with you about designing and building your custom Passive House.