Beyond Promises of Energy Conservation
Passive House is a rigorous building design standard and technique that originated in Germany and is promised to effectively reduce energy consumption for any building type in any climate. After years of research and writing about green design, Andrew Michler was keen to put it to the test in the Colorado Rockies.
“The house I subsequently built definitely lives up to its promises in terms of energy conservation, but the biggest surprise is how comfortable it is. The heavily insulated building envelope reduces heat loss through conduction, but it turns out that ambient air temperature is not the only reason we feel comfortable or not… what really makes the difference is the radiantly neutral surfaces, especially the triple pane glass. So my bare skin does not bleed heat via radiation which in turn reduces the need for extra layers.”
The house is built with low processed materials such as timber, plywood, and cellulose; mineral wool is also used for insulation, to reduce health risk and environmental impact. The walls and floor are made from nail-lam cedar. On the south side, glass panels are used sparingly to minimize any heat gain/loss through the external facade.
Signs of playfulness can be found throughout the house. There is net bed in the loft that also helps to keep the space ventilated and well-lit. There is also an over-sized outdoor couch for relaxing during good weather days.
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