|Canada's first certified residential Passive House, located in Ottawa, Ontario.|
Designed and built by Chris Straka, Vert Design. This duplex silenced the
naysayers that thought a Passive House could not be built in Canada because
of the severe climate. Chris proved them all wrong with this house and he will
do it again. Chris is the architect designing Casa Tortuga at Turtle Falls.
Passive House is an approach to design and construction that relies on a super efficient airtight envelope, essentially minimizing heat losses to optimize gains from the sun as well as the smallest heat sources like body heat, cooking heat, and hair dryers. With a super efficient envelope, you get to keep all heat in, or out depending on the season. Construction of a Passive House employs meticulous attention to air sealing, reduction in thermal bridging (heat loss through framing lumber), optimizing site orientation (true south exposure), insulation levels (3-7 times more than standard), and installing high performance windows (triple glazed, insulated frame) and HVAC systems. There is also a component of Passive House that focuses on minimizing energy demands with highly efficient appliances and a mindset for conservation...eliminate those phantom loads! When all of this is done, the house will be 80-90% more efficient than a standard-built house and be substantially more comfortable, affordable and healthy.
Passive House can be thought of as the wiser, more experienced cousin of passive solar design, which has been in existence for about 5000 years. Passive solar design employs the use of solar gain through south-facing windows and large thermal mass, such as concrete floors or walls, to store and release heat. What was missing in the passive solar homes from the 1970's and 80's was, most importantly, the improved air sealing, thermal bridge elimination and high performance windows.
|Germany's first Passivhaus|
|This is our destination to visit in Australia when we're |
no longer wasting our money on heating fuel.
Thanks Lan & Treen for the beautiful photo.
|An early version of the Casa Tortuga floor plan.|
©2012 Chris Straka, Vert Design
The following image is a screen shot of a Twitter conversation I had with Ross from Homesol Building Solutions. July 17th was that wicked hot day and it was sweltering inside Priscilla as well as on the dock. I wanted to know what it was like in Ross's Passive House.
Maybe the building of our little turtle palace, as one friend nicknamed Casa Tortuga, will help get the word out about Passive House construction just a little bit more. Feel free to pass this blog onto others you think may be interested in discovering the benefits of living in a home that is low maintenance, durable, super energy efficient and sustainable.
Much more to come,