Sonoma, Calif., homeowner Catherine O'Neill decided last year to "green" her home, so she called on Rick Milburn, owner of Solar Knights Construction, to look at Passive House--a sustainable solution that focuses on energy efficiency, indoor air quality, and super-thick insulation. SmartPlanet takes a peek at the first Passive House retrofit in the United States.
Passive House: A new metric for 'green' homes
Posting in Energy
Sonoma, Calif., homeowner Catherine O'Neill decided last year to "green" her home, so she called on Rick Milburn, owner of Solar Knights Construction...
Mar 28, 2011
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This building has some great concepts, I like the building envelope design without those last exterior finishes. This building is going to be more energy efficient than others but the exterior of the building will be radiated by solar exposure and generate atmospheric heat without emissions produced. That contributes to climate change and that weather severity killing many while flooding others. Here is an example of what it looks like in the infrared spectrum. http://www.thermoguy.com/blog/index.php?itemid=56
You misspelled or misused the word peak. In the meaning and context of your article that should be "takes a peek" not "takes a peak" unless SmartPlanet took the top of a mountain.
I live on the central coast Ca. I couldn't stand living inside a sealed box. usually all the windows in our house are open during the day and we spend much of the time outside. we don't have AC and use the heater just in the middle of winter. our gas bill isn't too big.
I completely agree with @jimmy37. There is nothing new here, other than maybe the consolidated report card on a laptop. What can this do for an existing home and what did the article leave out that deserved the term "new"?
It's certainly nice that this former hedge fund manager living in Sonoma, California could afford to rebuild her house. What about the rest of us without the bucks?? Other than some arbitrary Passive House label, none of the technologies shown is new, regardless of what you call it. The "energy recovery ventilator" also goes by the name "air exchanger". It does NOT replace the heating/air conditioning systems in the house. As the contractor explains, it's main job is to control the flow of air into and out of the house, as the house "breathes", transferring any heat from one stream to the other.
Jeff, there is nothing permanently sealed about Passive Houses. Although the envelope is air-tight, in mild weather you can leave your windows open without affecting the temperature all that much. Everyone loves fresh air and it's always an option. In a cold winter, if you do open the windows (not sure why you'd want to) you would simply lose your efficiency. The indoor air quality in a Passive House is much better, however, than the external air quality. Fresh air is constantly introduced from outside, run through the ERV, filtered through a Merv 15 air filter and is warmed or cooled through the heat exchanger with 95% efficiency. Throughout the house there is never more than a 3?? delta in temperature. It's perfect for people with allergies and any PH occupant will tell you it's the freshest air they've ever breathed in a home.
This is really some innovative idea that has been worked out all over the house. I think Catherine O???Neill have done an incredibly appreciable job in making our planet Earth greener as she made her home greener first. Like they always say, the beginning of all revolutionary changes begins in small scale. Catherine???s idea can actually be a great inspiration for a lot of people willing to do the same. I was searching for Volvo page, would you please help me with that.