Energy Efficiency and High Performance Building
Our projects are designed to simply use less energy. Rather than rely on expensive high-tech gadgets, our buildings are so well insulated, they just don’t use much energy or cost much to heat or cool. That means low ownership costs for you in the long run.
A building should be considered as a system, not an assemblage of parts and devices that are selected without regard to how they affect the whole. The interaction between occupants, moisture management, insulation and the components that heat, cool and power the building must all work together to create a healthy, durable and efficient building.
More insulation and dramatically better windows equals greatly reduced heating and cooling bills. They also enable you to have heating and cooling systems that are greatly reduced in size but highly efficient. For us, low tech solutions often trump expensive high-tech options such as geothermal systems. Use less fossil fuel, shrink your carbon footprint, and be more comfortable in a home that will last for generations.
Transforming an existing home into a more open, comfortable and healthy place can be a complex undertaking. We help you prioritize your needs and choose the best options within your budget.
For existing homes, Whole Home Remodeling or a Retrofit can transform a drafty, expensive to heat and cool environment into a comfortable one that won’t waste your money. Damp basements and crawlspaces can be sources of mold and structural failure. New insulation or encapsulation in these areas can result in improved health and comfort throughout the house.
First we perform a top to bottom Home Audit with our Building Performance Institute certified technician who tests for air leakage and inspects insulation levels. Next we develop a plan to eliminate air leakage, address moisture issues, and add insulation to areas that need it: most often the attic and basement or crawlspace. New windows or doors may be considered.
If roofing and siding are due for replacement, a Deep Energy Retrofit may be an option. In a DER, old roofing and siding is removed and insulation is installed in a continuous layer over the exterior walls and roof, wrapping your entire home in thermal protection. Careful planning, detailing, and flashing of windows and other building penetrations are also critical to a successful DER.
Passive House / Passivhaus:
Passive House, or Passivhaus as it is known in Europe, is both a building energy performance standard and a set of design and construction principles used to achieve the standard. Buildings that meet the standard are ultra-low energy buildings that use 80 to 90 percent less energy for heating and cooling than conventional equivalent buildings, while providing excellent air quality and comfort. As of 2014, there are approximately 30,000 Passive House buildings in the world.