The House that saved the Earth
Passive House (Passivhaus in German) is the name of the most effective way to achieve an ultra energy efficient home. By designing the home with an air tight envelope, along with super insulated walls, floors, and ceiling, the effectiveness of Passive House construction surpasses all other methods of construction in terms of energy efficiency. The average Passive House uses just 10% of the energy that a standard code built home requires for heating. Although the Passive House is a new concept here in America, it has been developed and perfected in Germany over the past twenty years. As of Aug 2010 there are over 25,000 homes and buildings throughout Europe that have been built using the passive approach, , while in the United States there were only 13, with a few dozens more under construction.
The term Passive house refers to the rigorous, voluntary, Passivhaus standard for energy efficiency in a building, reducing its ecological footprint.] It results in ultra-low energy buildings that require little energy for space heating or cooling. The standard is not confined only to residential properties; several office buildings, schools, kindergartens and a supermarket have also been constructed to the standard. Passive design is not the attachment or supplement of architectural design, but an integrated design process with the architectural design. Although it is mostly applied to new buildings, it has also been used for remodels.
Passive House also is the most cost effective way to build. Although passive House initially construction cost 7 to 10 percent more than a code built home to construct, the energy saving is so substantial, that you recover this extra cost within 5 to 7 years. Over the thirty year life of a home mortgage, the energy saving from a Passive House will recover 40% to 50 % of the initial cost of your home.
Air tight envelopes that are a key part of Passive House got a bad name in the 80’s and 90’s, and for good reason. When warm air from inside your house meets cold air from outside, condensation occurs in the wall. With no air movement water becomes trapped in the wall and rots the structure. Passive House has solved this problem. We now can build a wall assembly can breathe, yet the interior of the house remains air tight.
In order to build or remodel a home as a Passive House, design and computer modeling in the very beginning of the process is critically important. And then the construction must follow the plan exactly for it to work. It is critical that these elements are followed or the project will likely fail. Laupen Homes LLC. is proud to say that they are one of only a handful of companies in the Northwest who have studied, understand, and adopted this building approach. Contact us and let show you how you can have one of these inexpensive, healthy, and extremly comfortable homes