A Look At The Passive House Concept

Passive House Missouri

The HomeNav team is very blessed to have three (3) summer interns helping to get some awesome projects done. I guess you could say they are the younger, cooler HomeNav. Their collective knowledge, skill and enthusiasm blows me away. Each of them has a project they are responsible for delivering by the end of the summer and you will have the opportunity to see their work as it unfolds. Stay tuned!

The Passive House Concept

One of our high school interns is actually from New Hampshire (long story how that came about, but a huge blessing). She and her family came to St. Louis for her to work with the HomeNav team and kick off her summer projects (have to love the ability to work remotely!). While she was here we had the chance to tour the first Passive House built in Missouri. The 2,200 square foot home is built of Insulated Concrete Forms with Structural Insulated Panels for the roof with a white membrane coating. A 4.2 Kw/h solar array on the roof is designed to produce more electricity than the home uses. Indoor air filtration and quality are achieved through mechanical ventilation and smart choices of building components. A Geothermal Heat Pump (ground source) heats and cools the home.

Passive House Insulated Concrete Forms

Passive House is constructed of insulated concrete forms shown here.

“The Passive House concept represents today’s highest energy standard with the promise of slashing the heating energy consumption of buildings by an amazing 90%” from the Passive House Institute US website. It continues “A Passive House is a comprehensive system. “Passive” describes well this system’s underlying receptivity and retention capacity. Working with natural resources, free solar energy is captured and applied efficiently, instead of relying predominantly on ‘active’ systems to bring a building to ‘zero’ energy.”

While the Passive House concept is just beginning to be used in the Midwest, it brings another dimension to ways to design and build high performance, a.k.a green homes. In my opinion, any green home certification is a good start and choices enable homeowners and builders to work with a program that best fits their philosophies. From my viewpoint, the key differentiator from LEED for Homes or the National Green Building Standard™ is that with Passive House concept, the key emphasis is on passive engineering and resource conservation.

The team for the Passive House includes:
Architect – Ralph Wafer www.ralpheglinwafer.com
Builder – Anthony Garavaglia – Trumpet
Constructors www.trumpetconstructorsllc.com
Passive House Consultant – Gary Steps – Butterfly Energy
Works www.butterflyenergyworks.com

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