SmartHome Cleveland at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History opened for tours earlier this month, making it the only public Passive House in the country.  We previewed the ultra-efficient abode a few months back and can now supplement our earlier coverage with these interior and exterior photos.

SmartHome will blend in with its future neighborhood, but don’t be fooled.  This home is different than most new and existing homes.  This home represents the future of energy-efficient housing and it will be open for visits through the end of this year, 2011.

SmartHome is projected to save at least 90% in heating and cooling costs compared to a traditional home.  To reach this level of supreme efficiency, it was carefully constructed with thick insulation, high-performance windows, and an airtight building envelope.  The wall section above illustrates the corner framing (that reduces thermal bridging), insulation layers, exterior wraps, and siding installation.

This isn’t a home with drafts, cold windows, or even heavy-duty heating and cooling equipment.  It’s airtight — the building envelope is virtually sealed — illustrating a phrase used in this type of construction: “Build tight, ventilate right.“  To keep air fresh and circulated, the 2,500 square-foot home has a heat recovery ventilator that extracts heat from air leaving the home.

SmartHome was designed by Chuck Miller of Doty & Miller Architects with Mark Hoberecht of HarvestBuild Associates making sure the design and construction adhered to Passive House standards.  When the exhibit is finished, SmartHome will be moved to a lot on Wade Park Avenue in University Circle and made available for purchase.  The word is it will probably be sold in the neighborhood of +$300,000.

Credits: © The Cleveland Museum of Natural History.