German Passivehaus standards outdistance LEED

 

German Passivehaus standards out distance LEED
The Portland firm Root Design Build, is building on of the nations most energy efficient structures in Hood River.   As Willamette week puts it in their cover story on Futurehaus, “A local company is building a house you can heat with a blow-dryer.”
Only seven homes in the United States are certified to German Passivhaus standards and this is the first on the West Coast.  It is a home that requires a tenth of the heating and cooling of the average American residence. 
Only last year, Root’s Milo Jovanovic built Portland’s first LEED Platinum house.  Now he’s moving past LEED checklist to meet the much higher Passivehaus standards.
A number of factors combine in the environmental breakthrough of Shift House, which is being built in Hood River.  First the house is super-insulated.  Every effort has been made to design out thermal bridges which lead to heat loss though the shell of the building.  All construction joints in the calls and roof are sealed and windows have three panes.  
Second, it slurps up and holds heat.  Exposed concrete floors benefit from thermal mass.  Windows face south and have wooden shutters which are closed at sunset to retain the heat throughout the night.
Third, it uses intrinsic heat from within: waste heat from appliances and body heat from resident people and animals.
Fourth, the heat recovery ventilator that ensures heat quality, transfers the warmth of the outgoing stale air to the incoming fresh air.

The Portland firm Root Design Build, is building on of the nations most energy efficient structures in Hood River.   As John Minervin puts it in Willamette Week’s cover story on Futurehaus, “A local company is building a house you can heat with a blow-dryer.”

Only last year, Root’s Milo Jovanovic built Portland’s first LEED Platinum house.  Now he’s moving past LEED checklist to meet the much higher Passivehaus standards.

From the Willamette Week, June 3, 2009

From the Willamette Week, June 3, 2009

Only seven homes in the United States are certified to German Passivhaus standards and this is the first on the West Coast.  The new Shift House, which is being built in Hood River, requires only a tenth of the heating and cooling of the average American residence. This environmental breakthrough combines a number of approaches.

First,  the house is super-insulated. Every effort has been made to design out thermal bridges which lead to heat loss though the shell of the building.  All construction joints in the calls and roof are sealed and windows have three panes.  

Second, it slurps up and holds heat.  Exposed concrete floors benefit from thermal mass.  Windows face south and have wooden shutters which are closed at sunset to retain the heat throughout the night.

Third, the house uses intrinsic heat from within: waste heat from appliances and body heat from resident people and animals.  Fourth, the heat recovery ventilator that ensures heat quality, transfers the warmth of the outgoing stale air to the incoming fresh air.

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One response to “German Passivehaus standards outdistance LEED

  1. Pingback: Green the nation’s way of life? Say goodbye to the suburbs. « Steel Bridge Rag

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