We draw an imaginary outline around the entire home to define the building envelope as a defense to keep the elements out and the valuable heating and cooling in. The building envelope is like a layered clothing system. We properly insulate and install doors and windows that complement the insulation. Air and water sealing is added to the entire envelope with special attention to areas where different components connect. The thermal properties of all building components are selected to optimize performance and avoid mold and condensation.
Once the envelope is dialed in, the heating and cooling systems are designed. These systems are smaller and require less capital and operating expense than a conventional home. They are “right sized”, factoring in the many benefits of your exceptional building envelope. The super-sealed envelope reduces air infiltration, so we add a filtered fresh air system that harvests the heat of the stale air as it is extracted to maximize energy efficiency.
When it comes time to build, we follow the details of the modeling and design with the same exacting detail we apply to our exceptional finishes. When the envelope is built, we test the tightness of the home with a blower door test to check our work. When the heating, cooling and ventilation systems are complete, we balance the systems with sophisticated testing equipment. We document the execution of the work to verify expectations are met. We can also use these resources to seek certification for clients who want to pursue formal certification of a Passive House.
Although we realize that not every client is interested in building a certified Passive Home, we still apply these principles to every project we approach. We believe we owe it to our clients to build the most comfortable, durable home possible and the technical details of passive home construction are the means to achieve that goal. We also owe it to our children’s generation to push the envelope of energy efficient, high-performance homes.
Reach out to us to find out more. We have a wealth of knowledge and resources to get as far into the details as you’d like.