So you have decided to go ahead and pursue designing and building your home to the Passive House standard. Wow what is that next step? The first step is to hire the right team of professionals who “get it”.
The Passive House Team
1. The Architect
2. The Engineer responsible and certified for modeling and designing to the Passive house standard
3. The General Contractor responsible for meeting the standards in construction through coordination with designers and trades
4. Qualified trades coordinated through the General Contractor.
Each of these team members must have experience in and understand the value and consequences of being hired to design and build a Passive House building. Each step of the way requires rigorous and defined planning and modeling ensuring the end product will meet the standards to which it is being designed.
Hiring Passive House trained professionals for every stage of the project is important. Passive House Designers and Consultants are essential to the design process, and the General Contractors should have Certification for building to this standard given the many differences from your standard code built home. For instance, they know what is critical to hit the numbers on a blower test, which defines the all important air tightness measurement of the structure, and, because they seek common and measurable goals for profound results, such a team can be more united than a team focused solely on meeting code standards. This is but one example of the difference between “code” and “passive”
The principle, “less is more,” applies more than ever in the Passive House design. When the home is built to the Passive House” standard, the ”occupant comfort”, interior air quality and availability of light are all paramount in the design and planning and remain at the forefront from concept to completion.
Passive House vs. Code Built refers to the minimum legal construction standard. The levels of insulation are dramatically lower than Passive House; there is no air tightness
Requirement, and there is no commissioning process to ensure the building is operating as specified.
The difference in construction quality between a Passive House and a Code-Built house is staggering, with the largest reduction made in heating energy and cooling loads.
Once there is alignment with the homeowner and the Passive house team, a successful project is the result.