Today, the most viewed and emailed article on the NY Times is one on Passive House, “Can we Build in a Brighter Shade of Green?” The concept of Passive House has been growing in popularity over the last eight years or so, especially in green building circles. These homes are ultra energy-efficient and, with some on-site energy generation, can be energy neutral or energy producing.
Dave Brach, architect of the first Passive House in Utah, and Benchmark Modern, builder of this modern LEED home, are working on a new project in the Salt Lake City area called Zevon. The home, which is under construction right now, is being built – for the most part – to Passive House standards and will seek LEED Platinum certification when completed.
Last weekend, I had the opportunity to tour this newly-built net-zero energy home in Park City, Utah. The Sungazing House, built by Tall Pines Construction and designed by Jean Yves Lacroix, is home to the O’Meara family of four and features impressive views of the surrounding area. Perhaps more impressive, however, is the fact that it’s pursuing Passive House, LEED Platinum, and NAHB Emerald certifications.
This is the first Passive House certified new house on the West Coast (joining a California remodel in the Pacific Coast certification club). The traditional home, located in Salem, Oregon, was built with a number of green materials by Bilyeu Homes, Inc. It's also airtight, ultra-insulated, and very energy efficient — as are other Passive Houses we've discussed in Utah, Kansas, and Louisiana.
Update: See the completed Passive House retrofit in California!
This is the first Passive House in California and the first retrofit Passive House in the entire country, according to a press release issued by Solar Knights Construction earlier this week. The airtight retrofit was accomplished with, among other things, superior insulation, triple-glazed windows, and an energy recovery ventilation system.
This is the first certified Passive House in the “South,” and it’s located in Lafayette, Louisiana. What’s interesting about the home – other than that it illustrates the use of the Passive House standard in a hot and humid climate – is the fact that the low-energy home, with the help of rooftop solar laminates, is a net zero energy prototype for the future.