I was snooping around this morning to see what’s happening out in the world with Passive House remodels. With housing stock being what it is with a big chunk of the pie dedicated to existing homes and as energy/life costs rise, Passive House remodels will quickly gain a foothold as Americans start to realize the inherent value in energy savings, comfort, and air quality. It’s true, a new Passive House would be easier to build, but, the fact remains that many of us REALLY like our current inefficient, leaky homes. The only way to super-improve the performance of our old homes and retain the things we love is through a Passive House remodel.
It appears the first Certified Passive House remodel in California is due for completion in July. California has some pretty stringent building requirements in place; the state has mandated that all new residential buildings be net zero energy by 2020 (Net Zero meaning the house produces as much energy as is needed to meet the occupants energy consumption, thereby ‘zeroing out’ their energy-use impact). Passive House design plays into that mandate very nicely.
I found this article about the California Passive House remodel written by John Caulfield, for Builder Online. Here is a link to the article.
This is a really great simplistic definition of Passive House, an excerpt from the article. “A “passive house” is an airtight structure constructed to retain as much “free” heat created inside of a house as possible. Its distinguishing characteristic is its promise to reduce energy consumption by up to 90% without relying on expensive equipment such as solar panels. The concept mostly dispenses with conventional HVAC systems in favor of a heat exchanger that uses heat generated from its occupants, appliances, electronic devices, pets and so forth, to warm fresh air coming in from outside that’s circulated through vents.”
Though our climate is different than that of California, Passive House design is a high powered energy efficiency solution for any part of the nation.
I spoke with Tessa Smith, our Passive House Consultant, this morning about Passive House remodels, she replied, “oh, well, let me describe the Chainsaw remodel for you… “. Her description’s fodder for a forthcoming blog, but suffice to say, a Passive House remodel is well worth considering for a variety of exciting reasons! Stay tuned for that blog over the next couple days.. or if you can’t wait, come on in, we’d enjoy talking with you about it.
Posted on April 23, 2010