Experience with Passive building?

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Muddytyres
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Experience with Passive building?

Post by Muddytyres » Mon Feb 11, 2019 6:56 am

We live in a 4 season very humid climate and are planning on building. Does anyone have experience with passive buildings/ performance building? Suggested heating/cooling? House will be 1700-2000 plus basement and garage.
THANKS!

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Experience with Passive building?

Post by TomatoTomahto » Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:28 am

We have a different climate, but if your land supports it, look into geothermal and solar for electric and water.
Last edited by TomatoTomahto on Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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OldBallCoach
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Re: Experience with Passive building?

Post by OldBallCoach » Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:41 am

We built our new home using geothermal and gas. We also have wind along with the connected company line as well as a back up generator for the times when ice decides to make that out. We are on a slab with in floor radiant heat.We are about 50% polished finished concrete floors and 50% wood laminate. We also built using double wall stud construction. While this costs more we have found it to be incredibly effective. We are a larger single level home with about 5400 square feet and a 4 stall garage. Our gas bills rarely exceed 300 dollars in the winter and we keep the home at 72 degrees in the day time and 68 at night. We have a ton of glass on the south side of the house and we try and capture as much as we can from the sun but frankly here in Northern Indiana right at the Michigan state line on Lake Michigan we get weeks and week of no sunshine in winter. Gray is in I guess. I would love to use solar but we just didnt think it was worth it in our area. That was 6 years ago when we designed the home so I am sure in that time period many things have made solar more usable but here the wind blows all the time so that was a no brainer.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Experience with Passive building?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:52 am

Look into an "envelope" building. A friend has his house built this way. In short, there are air channels under the basement floor and up the walls into the upstairs living area. I don't know any other details about this. He lives in southern New Hampshire so this construction helps with both heating and cooling.
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WhyNotUs
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Re: Experience with Passive building?

Post by WhyNotUs » Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:02 am

Clarification: Are you asking about passive solar or a house that meets PassivHaus standards?
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ThatGuy
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Re: Experience with Passive building?

Post by ThatGuy » Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:58 am

You can read about Passive House at their US site, here.

I would recommend spending more time on Green Home Building Advisor, the subscription is well worth it. Building Science is also a treasure trove of information.

When you get close to doing this for real, find an architect that knows how to use WUFI-Passive. Also see if your local utility holds sessions for industry professionals, I learned quite a bit about windows and HVAC (and other things) by attending free sessions intended for industry professionals. Enough that I was severely underwhelmed by the first dozen architects I spoke to as it was obvious they hadn't bothered to learn anything more than how to market themselves as green.

Oh yea, Hammer and Hand has a great set of videos on Youtube chronicling how they build houses.
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Valuethinker
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Re: Experience with Passive building?

Post by Valuethinker » Mon Feb 11, 2019 6:30 pm

Muddytyres wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 6:56 am
We live in a 4 season very humid climate and are planning on building. Does anyone have experience with passive buildings/ performance building? Suggested heating/cooling? House will be 1700-2000 plus basement and garage.
THANKS!
humid and passivhaus are tricky.

other than parts of Italy and former Yugoslavia there's really nowhere in summer in Europe that matches that oppressive summer humidity that you have in southern and eastern USA.

make sure you talk to an American homeowner or 2 who has built passivhaus standard in your climate.

I would leave provision for air conditioning even if I did not install it, if that is possible.

desert is easy. Thicker walls give more heat absorption to reradiate at night. But humidity is hard.

canderson
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Re: Experience with Passive building?

Post by canderson » Mon Feb 11, 2019 6:52 pm

My organization funds the construction of PassiveHaus multifamily buildings and just today had our 7 story tower addition/historical building renovation certified.

If I were building today I wouldn’t build anything that WASN’T PassiveHaus or thermal envelop certified.

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Bogle7
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Go beyond passive

Post by Bogle7 » Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:19 pm

1. I would consider "net zero" instead of passive.
2. Spend years planning. With your architect and builder.
3. Subscribe to Fine Homebuilding as they have a number of articles of interest to you. Buy some back issues.
4. Check out This Old House as they have...

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Experience with Passive building?

Post by TomatoTomahto » Tue Feb 12, 2019 6:48 am

Careful Bogle7. My signature, which previously referred to my goal of being net zero in 2019 (a goal I still hope to achieve), was deemed political and controversial because it supposedly indirectly references climate change. I’ll leave it at that.
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