Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
This year’s cold winter is underscoring how comfortable a home can be in US climate zone 6 when built to the Passive House standard.
Happy (Energy) Independence Day from all of us at the Passive House in the Woods.
There are a lot of rumors going around about Passive House buildings. One of them says that air quality may not be good in them. Let me be clear about this: Air quality in a Passive House is superb and one of the biggest differences with existing buildings and standard construction. In existing buildings, inhabitants would have to open all of their windows an average of 3 hours per day—every day of the year—in order to achieve a similar rate of ventilation as the Passive House standards prescribes.
In addition to the ventilation system, we specified earthen plaster and casein paint finishes throughout, as well as minimally off-gasing floor coverings in an effort to avoid pollutants in the air in the first place. We made the slab radon-tight, and installed a passive radon mitigation system—just in case. Air infiltration into the building is minimized by careful detailing and execution, and field verified to be less than 0.6 air changes per hour at 50 Pascal pressure with a blower door test. This means that we have a lot of control over the indoor environmental quality inside Passive House in the Woods.
We specified a ventilation machine by Luefta and home-run duct-system by Innoflex, both supplied by Peak Building Products out of Watertown, MN. The ducts are made from flexible plastic, rather than sheet metal. They are very smooth on the inside, and can easily be cleaned. They also do not need duct tape or mastic to achieve air tightness in the system. Each duct run is home run to the machine, making for a clean and quiet system, where noise cannot transfer from one room to the next through the ventilation ducts. The video illustrates the basic idea: