Early on it was decided that it was important that the build process reflect their deeply held personal values regarding environmental protection. In the end they settled on the Passive House model. In upcoming Blog posts, I hope to have them write some guest spots on their perspective and their continuing experience as we move from design through construction.
What is a Passive House? It’s a common question with a lot of misleading information available. In layman’s terms, a Passive House has a highly efficient and controlled interior environment that dramatically reduces the homes energy consumption, and increases comfort and health for the inhabitants. For a more technical definition, try the Passipedia definition.
Nearly every other facet of our world has seen wide and often staggering scientific improvements that generally enhance our lives. But we still tend to build houses with the same thermal, air quality, and energy considerations that we did before the transistor radio came along. And no I’m not exaggerating – insulation got 2” thicker, we’ve adopted some rudimentary air and moisture control barriers, and that’s about it. Many early systems received bad publicity due to some cases causing rot or poor interior air quality. The fault typically lay with improper design, application, or combinations of incompatible systems used by builders – the science was sound, and it continues to improve.