Buildings constructed today are basically unchanged from decades ago utilizing simple measures to build fast and in step with the industry. Building codes are just now beginning to require testing of the systems and quality of construction. High-Performance buildings or Passive Buildings deliver a product vastly different with an emphasis on energy efficiency, durability, comfort and health. Currently, demands to condition buildings consume 40% of all the energy produced in the US. Is this sustainable and appropriate given the knowledge and technology that we possess? We think there is a better way.
We do this through physics and verify it with software. Our understanding of how buildings function over time allows us to deliver an end product with revolutionary energy efficiency and unparalleled resilience. The net is a building that consumes up to 90% less energy. This is the future of building.
This building system incorporates an integrated science-based system of ultra-efficient construction combined with quality, comfort and sustainability.
Most Passive Houses either have a very small mechanical heating and cooling system or none at all. This is accomplished through deep and continuous insulation, elimination of all thermal bridging, air-tight construction, triple pane windows and reducing internal loads.
Passive Houses are so air-tight that an active ventilation system is required to supply fresh and healthy outdoor air to the building without losing any of the heated or cooled conditioned air inside the building. Allergens and dust are be completely eliminated inside the envelope.
Passive Houses tend to be very quiet providing a noise barrier to the outside.
Passive Houses have been built with success in Europe since the 1980's and many building codes there have adopted Passive standards as law. The US is seeing renewed interest in PH standards in California, New York and Oregon.
An initial investment of 5-10% upfront is what we budget to bring a conventionally constructed home to the PH Standard. Typically the larger the structure, the less the upfront cost due to surface-to-area ratio of the volume.
Today there are numerous standards to build a better building. Below is a quick summary.