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Super Energy Efficient Home Construction in the San Juan Islands, Part I

We created a super energy efficient home design that is being built on Shaw Island in the San Juan Islands of Washington State.  The San Juans are a couple of hours north of Seattle and have a relatively dry climate by Pacific Northwest standards, and it is generally a little warmer in the San Juans than in Seattle.  Using the Passive House approach to energy efficient home design allows us to tailor the design to the climate.  The home owners will enjoy maximum comfort and a tiny heating bill!

Here are pictures of the site and excavation work.

Most energy efficient home construction uses a slab on grade foundation.  Using Passive House technology allows us to offer a typical crawl space when that is preferred for a given project, without sacrificing energy performance.  Here is a picture of the footing and stemwall of this home.

Our Passive House owner surveys the project.

We apply initial waterproofing to the foundation.

Once the foundation has been sealed and all of the sub-grade components have been installed, we backfill and start framing the floors.  In this energy efficient home design, I-joists are used for the floor framing. One can see in this next picture that we will leave a hole in the center of the floor.  This hole will act as a socket for the installation of our prefabricated central "pod".  We prefab a large part of the homes that we design and build.  This approach offers better quality control, and less wasted resources. More about this in future blogs...