Passive Homes

    What is a Passive House?

    The term “passive house” refers to the rigorous, voluntary, Passivhaus standard for energy efficiency in a building, greatly reducing its ecological footprint. The result is ultra-low energy buildings and home that require little if any energy for heating and cooling. While more and more “green” houses are being built, there are only a handful of actual “Passive Homes” in the country, one of those being in Millcreek.

    Some of the strict requirements of Passive Homes are:

    • An annual heating demand of less than 15 kWh per year and 15kWh per year cooling energy
    • Total primary energy consumption (energy for electricity, heating and hot water) of no more than 120 kWh per year
    • The building must not leak more air than 0.6 times the house volume per hour.

    These lofty conservation goals are met through a combination of energy reducing processes including superinsulation, advanced window technology, airtightness, ventilation, passive solar design and landscape.

    As an added bonus residents of a passive house enjoy fresh and very clean air. To date Brach Design is Utah’s first and only Certified Passive House Consultant. From Dave Brach’s website he states that…

    “Our core belief that energy and water are precious has fueled a paradigm shift in the way that we design buildings. Gone are the days of ignoring regional climate and relying on expensive, complicated and energy-guzzling mechanical equipment to provide a comfortable interior environment for the occupants. Instead, we use smart design to create buildings that capture and store energy in the winter an block flush out heat energy in the summer.

    We accomplish this by employing passive design strategies to the greatest extent possible. These solutions utilize very low-tech building elements to keep the inside of a building comfortable–warm in winter and cool in summer. This allows us to help clients drastically reduce the energy demand to a point where a relatively small renewable energy system (solar electric and solar hot water panels) can be added to bring annual energy consumption effectively to zero.”

    If you are interested in exploring the opportunity of building a Passive House, please contact us and we would be more than happy to assist you!