A passive house is the revolutionary notion that you can reliably and consistently design a building that works to keep humans comfortable without spending loads on utilities. It’s a comfort standard and a methodology leading to a greener earth.
Essentially, a passive house is designed to be extremely energy-efficient so that it doesn’t take a lot of power to heat or cool. To be designated as a passive house, a building must demonstrate the builders have adhered to a set of specific best practices that seal it from outside temperatures while maintaining a stable inside temperature and high air quality.
How does a passive house work?
It’s sort of like building a thermos, but it’s a thermos with really good ventilation. When you want a space to naturally maintain its temperature, whether it’s as small as a thermos or as large as a home you’re going to be following many of the same rules. Passive homes need to be air-tight, have continuous insulation, triple-paned windows, and a sophisticated system for managing air-flow and air quality.
The home’s design also needs to eliminate a phenomenon called thermal bridging which occurs when the temperature of one material transfers to another through physical touch, like a room feeling cold in winter because the steel beam supporting the floor is touching the freezing brick on the front wall.
By thermally sealing off the interior of a space, a home’s internal temperatures are more stable by default. Implementing passive house techniques is enough to make a home 90 percent more energy efficient than the average house.
Why would someone want a passive house?
Because passive houses are so energy-efficient, heating and cooling them costs dramatically less than in other homes. And because the internal air temperature is so consistent, passive homes are more comfortable than a house where the inside temps oscillate between sweltering and freezing.
Once you live in one or hang out in passive homes, it’s incredible to realize how uncomfortable we are in conventional buildings. Keep a sweater at your desk at work? Me too. Not necessary in a passive building.
The air quality in a passive house will also be exceptional, eliminating any staleness or fumes. The air in a passive house is constantly circulated and filtered. Passive homes are also more resilient to power outages or other emergency situations. Even without electricity, the home will stay at a comfortable temperature for far longer than the average building, making it a popular choice for hospitals and senior residences.
But some of the benefits of living in a passive house are less quantitative. On a cold winter day, you can sit right next to the window without a heater and without wearing two sweaters because the temperature of the window glass will be very close to the temperature of the room. Comfort is the first and foremost benefit, particularly in Vancouver but green technology can also keep more green in your pocket by cutting down utility costs.
Why the VictorEric Design-Build team for Passive House?
- Our in-house Designers, Site Supervisors, and Carpenters are trained and certified through Passive House Canada.
- Real-world experience with 2 Passive House currently under construction, a 30+ home, Passive House subdivision in the design process, and a commercial building in the permitting process.
- The Passive House standard is fairly new to Vancouver, so it’s to your benefit to have a full-service team who is experienced, and solutions-oriented. Our creative design team works closely alongside our knowledgeable construction team to deliver a stress-free experience for you.
- Our site team is PHI trained to take on important Passive House tasks related to the Building Envelope, HRV, and exterior wall and under-slab insulation which traditional sub-trades are not trained to do.
- Energy-efficient homes don’t have to look like a bland box. As good design is a high value at VictorEric, we are committed to building Passive Houses that not only perform well but also look good.
- Our award-winning attention to detail that we bring to every one of our products is what it takes to build a high-quality home that the Passive House standard demands.
- We sponsor free quarterly educational seminars on the subject to help both homeowners and building professionals up to date on the latest techniques and technologies.
Talk to us if you are considering “net-zero” or ‘passive’ technology for your next home or if you have any other questions on the topic. VictorEirc’s team of Passive House experts are happy to help and our goal at VictorEric is to inspire and to bring your dream home into a reality.
Call us at 604-677-0021 so you can be included on our mailing list for upcoming seminars and educational opportunities!