Why Build a Passive House Home?
Here are just a few of the many reasons:
Extreme Energy Efficiency and High Performance:
These homes are ultra insulated and virtually airtight, making them exceptionally energy efficient. Heating for these homes is supplied to a great extent by passive solar energy. This is combined with the home’s ability to capture heat generated by people, electrical equipment in the home, and other passive sources of energy. Cooling requirements in a heating climate are minimal, with window orientation and shading playing important roles.
PHIUS Passive House certifications require a home to qualify as a US DOE Zero Energy Ready Home which also means it qualifies as a US EPA ENERGY STAR home.
Incredible Energy Savings
Because a passive home is so energy efficient, your new home will use as little as 34%* of the energy a conventional home use. This means you can save up to 66% of what you would otherwise pay for energy. In Connecticut and New York, this can mean thousands of dollars of savings each year.
*The Home Energy Rating System (HERS) rating for a passive house can range from HERS 45 to <0. BPC has built homes with HERS ratings of 34 without the use of solar panels.
Certified Passive homes have low HERS scores with or without solar panels. This one has solar panels and has a HERS score of -17.
Good Choice for Homes without Southern Exposures
Ideally, a passive certified home makes use of the direct sunlight coming in through the homes south-facing windows for passive heating. However, the home is so well insulated that a passive home is an excellent green building standard choice for homes in heavily wooded areas that don’t have exposure to direct sunlight. While such a home may not get direct sunlight on the home, if the property has some areas that get direct sunlight, the home can still make use of solar panels. However, even without solar panels, a passive home will be one of the most energy-efficient green building standards.
Exceptionally Healthy, Fresh Air and Comfort
Passive homes are carefully engineered and so well-ventilated that a constant supply of fresh filtered air flows throughout the home. The vapor and air barriers under each home also prevent radon gas from entering the home and incorporate a radon mitigation system in case it is needed. This means your home will be healthy and balanced for temperature and humidity.
Passive House certification requires the home qualify for the US EPA Indoor airPLUS standard.
Peace and Quiet
Some of the same things that make these homes extremely energy efficient also help keep outside noises out of your home. Living in a passive home means you won’t be bothered by outside noises as often occurs in conventional homes.
Passive homes make use of passive heating and cooling as well as have ultra insulated and virtually airtight building envelopes. This BPC home is both Passive House and LEED Platinum certified.
Sustainable and Eco-Friendly
Certified passive homes are built in a way that they are sustainable and environmentally friendly. They help mitigate climate change.
Passive building certification requirements mandate the home meet building standards higher than national and local building codes. This means these homes are very well built. They also rely on the power grid only minimally. Both attributes and others make the home more resilient.
Dependable Lower Cost of Home Ownership
While a Passive House may cost a bit more to build, the savings on energy, repairs, replacement of systems and materials quickly offset these marginal costs of construction, and within a short period of time in the Connecticut and New York area you recover these costs and start saving thousands of dollars a year. Also, because your home will be much less reliant on energy from utilities (if at all), you are protected from future increases in energy prices.
What is the Difference Between a Passive House and Passivhaus?
In Europe, where the Passive House movement began, the name typically used for this type of home is Passivhaus. The US Passive House certification standards are a bit different than the European Passivhaus certification standards.
The US Passive House standards are established, and the certification programs for professionals and homes are run primarily by two different organizations, PHIUS and PHI*. Each has a slightly different program and standards. The passive home building program that BPC has chosen for home certifications is the Passive House Institute US (PHIUS). That said, BPC’s Passive home building training has been through both US programs, and BPC can build to meet the standards of either program.
*In Europe, the program is run by the Passivhaus Institute (PHI) and the Passivhaus Trust. The other Passive home organization in the US is the North American Passive House Network (NAPHN), an affiliate of the International Passive House Association (iPHA). Some states have affiliate groups of the NAPHN.
BPC’s Passive House Certified Professionals
BPC Green Builders staff members include PHIUS and PHI certified Passive House professionals, including a PHIUS Certified Passive House Consultant and PHI Certified Passive House Builder. BPC built the first PHIUS Certified Passive House in Connecticut.
BPC Green Builders is one of a small number of Certified Passive House Consultants and Builders nationwide. Moreover, as one of Connecticut’s first experts in “going green,” we combine years of real-world experience with today’s newest Passive House performance standards, building science, products, and materials.
Custom New or Renovated and Retrofitted Passive House homes
Whether you want to renovate an existing home or build a new custom home, BPC Green Builders can help. BPC can create a home for you built to the highest PHIUS certification standards.
By building or retrofitting a home to create a passive home, BPC gives our clients the absolute best all these things. In addition, your new home will drastically reduce your home’s carbon impact on the environment. Passive homes give homeowners greater financial security in a world where energy supplies – and costs – seem increasingly uncertain.
We Practice What We Preach
We believe so much in the benefits of Passive House homes that one of our company principals, Mike Trolle, built and lives in a Passive home here in Connecticut. He has firsthand experience of the benefits of living in a custom home that is passive certified.
Even without solar panels this certified passive homes uses only about one-third the energy a conventional home of its size built to local building code would use.