I want to let you know about another Passive House project here in Washington State. Jesse Thomas of Terrapin Architecture has his house well underway and underwraps for the rainy season on Washington’s peninsula. I have posted a short announcement and a link to his project at the new http://PassiveHouseProjects.US website.
I have taken all the information from the PassiveHouseProjects.Wordpress.Com blog and transferred it to a website format instead. To make things even better for people wanting to learn about Passive House – I have made PassiveHouseProject.US a member of the PassiveHouseCentral.US community of websites. You can click straight through to the Projects website or start at http://PassiveHouseCentral.US to visit the Projects website or 10 others. I have been hard at work getting content posted on the different sites and will be continually updating them. Think of PassiveHouseCentral.US as a hub to a world of Passive House information.
When I started blogging for the Small Planet Workshop I began to worry that all the Passive House information was being spread all over the internet and being diluted. I wanted to pull things back together, and yet still give anyone who wants their own voice a place to let people know about it. It’s similar to what I was doing with the Passive House Projects blog. I was just a clearing house for projects to be listed – if you wanted to know more about the project there were links to the people in the know – the contractor or architect of the project.
Passive House Central includes Passive House Projects and will expand to include other areas of interest such as blogs and products. Right now quite a few of the websites are just set up with categories, but no content. I will begin to add content this week. What I would like from you is your opinion of the navigation you find on the websites and the indication of what the future content will be. I would like your feedback as I load content so that I know where you would like to see this community go – it is a community for you and I want your voice to be heard. You can reply to my email address, or to the comments section of the Passive House Central main page. I will consider all suggestions as I refine the direction that will best satisfy the interests of the most readers.
If you have a Passive House project or are a Passive House professional and would like your information included on one of the websites, you can request that too. At this point only Certified Passive House Consultants are being listed on the Professionals page. When Passive House Institute US has other methods of identifying those contractors and other professionals as having received training of note I will expand that page to include those designations.
I am very excited to see where this venture goes and I want you to build this community with me. In the future there will be some changes made to include a revenue source for me and my efforts, but I intend for quite a bit of this information to remain freely available to those who want to learn and understand just what Passive House is all about.
Please visit PassiveHouseCentral.US Don’t be shy – let me know what you think!
Now that I am back from my West Coast Passive House tour (read about it on The Small Planet Workshop blog) I am catching up with local projects. I visited Dan’s project and saw that some more concrete has been poured, landscaping started, and work continues on the inside.
The Ultimate Air Recouperator has been set in place only to find the place has changed. In the original configuration there was not going to be a door through the mechanical room into the workshop. Site changes allowed that penetration in the PHPP which is a very nice feature… if the door will clear the mechanical equipment when it is installed in its intended location. Fortunately Dan has one of those magical contractor shoehorns – the kind that let you fit something big in a very small space. He has figured out a new arrangement and it will all soon be in place.
The plan now is to work outside while the weather is good (it’s turned cool and crisp here – my favorite time of year!) and work on the apartment area when the weather is not so good. It’s coming along very nicely.
In all of Dan’s spare time (when he is not wasting those 4 hours and 23 minutes a day sleeping!) he is also preparing to speak at the Eco Building Guild 13th Annual Green Design & Construction Symposium Oct 22-24th, and at the North American Passive House convention in Portland Nov 5-7th. If you have a chance to attend either of these events it will be well worth it.
Dan replied in the comments about yet ANOTHER event he is speaking at and I wanted to add it to the main page so no one would miss it: “There’s even another presentation on the nearby horizon: the Central Puget Sound chapter of the NW Ecobuilding Guild’s October 27th education event. 7PM at the Phinney Neighborhood Center, free for Guild members, $5 donation for everyone else. That one’s all about this house. I promise – no THERM tutorials. Cheers – Dan”
O.K., backyard is such a relative term here in the US. The national PH conference in Portland is just about a 3 hour drive from here. I signed up right away because I wanted the chance to get into one of the additional workshops and take advantage of the room package pricing that PHIUS has arranged for attendees. What better way to see the conference than to roll out of bed, grab some breakfast and head downstairs!
If you haven’t signed up for the conference yet, but are planning to go – give the good folks at PHIUS a help with the expected headcount by signing up soon. If you are unsure if you want to attend, be sure to check out the information on the PHIUS website. The list of presenters is long and full of interesting people – there should be something for everyone.
I know I was quite excited to see the additional consultants workshops and had a hard time choosing between the all day multi-family one or attending the half day retrofit one and the half day THERM one. I finally settled on the Multi-Family workshop and hope a fellow consultant who attends the other two will take good notes!
It should really be a great conference. There is also an optional tour of some local projects on Sunday the 7th. If you are going, sign up soon! When you are there look me up and let me know what you think of the blog!
If you haven’t already done so, be sure to read about the retrofit in Sonoma, California I visited on my West Coast Passive House tour. I’ve been hired to blog about my tour on the Small Planet Workshop website and this was an incredible project to be able to tour. You can read all about it here:
I am back from the most wonderful trip. I traveled down the coast and visited quite a few Passive House projects. I have been hired to write about my adventures on a new blog that the Small Planet Workshop has started. The first installment covers a wonderful Sustainable Urban Passive House Farmstead project in Eugene, Oregon. It will be absolutely stunning when complete. I was impressed with the details visible in the framing stages. Jan Fillinger designed a wonderful project and Win Swafford has worked hard to bring it to reality.
Check out the new blog at the Small Planet Workshop Website where you will see my very crowded Google map detailing my trip and read all about the Eugene, Oregon project.
Next stop – Sonoma, California and an AMAZING Passive House retrofit by Jarrod Denton, Architect, and Solar-Knights, contractor (with a bonus side trip to a Ghost town!)
Hello from the road! I am currently on my own unofficial West Coast Passive House tour and have heard of several opportunities for folks to visit an actual Passive House project, but you have to act quickly on the first two tours. The first is an official tour that the public and West Coast Green participants are invited to attend in California. I have visited 3 of the projects and recommend the tour for anyone who is interested in seeing what is being done in California. For more information visit the Passive House California site.
The second opportunity I have heard about is the North Residence PH and Built Green level 5 project in Olympia, WA. Tessa Smith, designer and fellow CPHC, has a PH project in the framing stage that is part of the Olympia Master Builders tour happening in October. If you are interested in seeing her project, it is open to the public Oct.2-3 & Oct. 9-10 from 11:00 am- 5:00 pm. The address is 1114 Marion Street NE ., Olympia, WA.
The third opportunity is associated with the 5th Annual North American Passive House conference in Portland, OR. This conference, being held Nov. 5-7 has arranged an optional excursion for conference participants to a few PH homes in the Portland area on the 7th. For additional information, please visit the Passive House US conference page.
I have seen some fabulous projects on my trip and will be heading towards Salem, Portland, & Olympia to see several more. I’ll be blogging about my trip on the Small Planet Workshop blog starting in October. The idea for my trip came from the Small Planet Workshop site owner, Albert Rooks, who had read John Steinbeck’s “Travels With Charlie”. Steinbeck, knowing he did not have long to live, decided to tour America and write about what he saw. He took his dog Charlie, loaded up a small camper and set off. My trip has been similar, without the dying part… or the dog.. or the camper… or 47 of the 50 states… but similar! Be sure to check out the Small Planet Workshop site and start reading about some of the fabulous Passive House projects that are happening on the West Coast.
The sheetrock is on the walls and soon the painters will roll on a fresh coat of paint. Dan will be clearing the lot and a skip loader will be coming to layout the landscaping details. The project is really shaping up.
The first pic shows the tilt and turn windows in tilt mode – good for ventilation but watch out for Fluffy – cats have been known to try to climb out them and end up getting stuck!
These next pics show the GWB in the workshop and the main house. It is really looking sharp!
Dan wanted me to mention that he and 2 other Passive House consultants will be presenting at the NW Eco Building Guilds 10x10x10 program next week in Seattle. 10 projects will have 10 minutes to show 10 slides showing how their projects are sustainable and eco-friendly. Dan will be talking about his Seattle Passive House, Joe Giampietro will present on his Mini-B Passive House project, and Jim Burton will present a series of Passive House concept projects that he has designed. There will be other great projects discussed there too. Get all the details here!
Any way you do the math this project makes good sustainable sense. Not only was this building designed to Passive House standards, it is also incorporating sustainable materials into the project and sustainable practices into the landscaping. Check out this new project by Eugene, Oregon Architect Jan Fillinger of STUDIO – E Design on my Passive House Projects blog. Visit the project page for The Small, Elegant and Sustainable Urban Farmstead.
David Vollan of Home Performance, Inc. came out to do Dan’s 2nd blower door test today. It was a resounding success. The house registered a .41 ACH @ 50 pascals. The Tectite Building Airtightness software v 3.2 projected a 121cfm for anyone wanting to know the PH Nerd Numbers. Way to go Dan!
Dan has had some other accomplishments this past week – he passed his electrical, plumbing, and framing inspections! He said that he noticed the draft from the positive pressure in the sewer line was blowing a continual stream of cool air through the plumbing ventilation stack and was concerned that with all the sealing he was doing, that this is a leak he could not prevent. In Seattle homes are required to have a plumbing vent that exits the building envelope and allows the sewer gas to escape. This is for health reasons. AAV’s or Air Admittance Valves are another way to deal with this issue in a way that would not affect the building envelope. Dan was told that he would not be able to do that on this project. Another Certified Passive House Consultant, Tad Everhart has been successful in getting a code alternative allowed for his project in Oregon and he is using a combination of solutions for the negative and positive pressures that need to be addressed. Tad used Studor AAV’s for the negative pressures and installed a 2 way valve for the positive pressure instead of the traditional plumbing stack vent. You can see more of what Tad did regarding his PH project here.
Next up is drywall and painting while Dan works on the landscaping. Time to make this Passive House look more like a home!