Saturday, 15 September 2012

First full look at Passive House Casa Tortuga

Well, here it is! The final (pre-PHPP) floor plans and elevation renderings for the future Passive House Casa Tortuga at Turtle Falls. There could be some minor changes once the PHPP modelling has been completed.

We are now at the stage where Architect Chris and Homesol are running all the initial characteristics of this design through a Passive House Planning Package (PHPP). This is a computer program that assists architects in designing to Passive House standard. This program is a reliable method for the calculation of energy consumption. The energy demand of highly efficient buildings is very accurately reproduced using this modelling program. Some of the areas that are run through the program include:
  • energy calculations (incl. R or U-values)
  • designing of window specifications
  • designing of the indoor air quality ventilation system
  • dimensioning of the heating load
  • dimensioning of the cooling load
  • predicting summer comfort
  • dimensioning of the heating and domestic hot water (DHW) systems
  • calculations of auxiliary electricity, primary energy requirements of circulation pumps etc., as well as the estimation of CO² emissions.
For a more comprehensive look at what the PHPP program is and how it predicts the energy demands of a Passive House, click here.

Main Level
Copyright © 2012 Vert Design, Chris Straka
Some of my favourite areas on the main floor include a much larger kitchen than we are used to and a proximitous (yes, newly coined word!) pantry as well as the bug bunker (aka screened porch). The mosquitoes...well, they will have to work a whole bunch harder at finding their free lunch now.

Lower Level
Copyright © 2012 Vert Design, Chris Straka
Lots of sleeping areas for visitors on the lower level. The office/overflow sleeping quarters in the SE corner will have spectacular views of the forest and lake.

South and East Elevation
Copyright © 2012 Vert Design, Chris Straka
The longer South elevation, with all its windows, will be where the majority of our winter heating will come from. The windows will be triple-glazed, insulated frames, e-coated and gas-filled. Coatings provide the required absorptive or reflective qualities, while the gas filling provides the glazed areas with insulative qualities. These windows are actually smarter and much harder working than me. Now, if we could just find windows that do all of the above and wash themselves too...heaven on earth!

The large roof overhang will shade the windows in the summer and prevent overheating. There will most likely be some other shading components/canopies added to further reduce summertime heat gain. Some of those smart e-coatings and gas-fillings help keep summer heat out as well.

West and South Elevation
Copyright © 2012 Vert Design, Chris Straka
This would be the view of the house from where Priscilla is located at the moment, I think.

North and West Elevation
Copyright © 2012 Vert Design, Chris Straka
The view as you drive in. I can see we'll be spending a pretty penny for pretty garage doors. The garage as the first thing you see as you approach a house has always been a pet peeve of mine. Unfortunately, the required southern orientation of the house versus the location of the driveway approach leaves us with little choice on this. A completely separate garage makes Ras sad. We cannot have a sad Ras!

East and North Elevation
Copyright © 2012 Vert Design, Chris Straka
At the moment, the plan includes a 2-car garage. It may be reduced to a 1-car garage if we find we need to push the house back into the hill a little further. Nixing the extra car space would allow us to do that. The second space would then be regained as an add-on to my workshop when it finally gets built.

What you are seeing in the plan right now is a garage door exiting the back of the garage that will allow us to get a vehicle down to the waterfront when necessary. If we choose to go with just a 1-car garage then vehicle access to the waterfront would happen in front of the house. We won't know about this until we have actually driven some stakes in the ground to see where the house will sit on the land. Architect Chris is scheduled in early October to visit Turtle Falls for some house siting fun.

Until then,

1 comment:

Brett said...

Thanks for the follow on Twitter Marilynn and I really enjoyed this blog post. Especially the "proximitous"...ha...I like it! Looks like a really nice home and I'm looking forward to more updates.