Passive Home Builds in Whistler
Passive Houses are a growing trend in southern British Columbia, especially in places like Whistler, where the temperatures are hot in the summer and fairly cold in the winter, making the climate ideal for creating incredibly energy-efficient homes. If you’re considering building a new home, you probably have questions about Passive Houses and how these homes stack up to the traditionally built homes in and around Whistler.
At Blue Water Concepts, our team is Passive House certified and well-versed in applying energy-efficient concepts to both certified passive houses and custom-built homes. With our design-build approach, we can take your new home from concept to completion and ensure it performs optimally and is comfortable throughout the year.
What Is a Passive House?
As per Passive House Canada, a “Passive House is recognized by the United Nations as the optimal way to build healthy, climate-resilient, affordable, and energy-efficient residential, institutional, and commercial buildings through all stages of design, construction, and livability.*“
Passive House follows five core principles to achieve its primary goal of exceptional energy efficiency: super-insulated envelopes, high-performance windows, airtight construction, heat recovery ventilation, and thermal bridge-free design.
Building a Passive House may come with an incremental cost of around 10-15%, according to Passive House Canada. However, the investment pays off with a 90% reduction in annual heating/cooling consumption. The energy savings help offset the upfront costs of increased insulation, better-quality windows, and ventilation systems. The monthly costs of owning a Passive House are comparable to those of a conventional house while offering improved indoor air quality, overall comfort, and protection against rising utility prices.
Passive House or Passive Home?
Most people learning about Passive House Certification might refer to Passive House as “passive homes” due to a common mistake. It’s important to note that while the term may be used interchangeably in conversations, the official technical term is Passive House.
Passive Home Benefits
What are Passive House Design Principles?
Passive House principles are guidelines around which these homes are designed. Following them means builders must account for a given region’s climate in order to create a home that minimizes energy use by minimizing heat gain in the summer and heat loss in the winter through a variety of innovative means. Basic passive design principles include:
- Super insulated envelope is basically the same as wrapping your whole house in a big, comfy sweater. You will see considerably more insulation in a Passive House than you would in a normal building, and it will often be on the outside of the house in addition to in the walls.
- Energy-efficient triple-pane windows that prevent overheating in warm weather and heat loss in cold weather.
- Airtight construction means your building is exactly that, “air tight”. A building’s performance can often be measured through how air tight it is, as this is where a building will lose its heat in the winter and let heat in, in the summer. Ensuring your home is airtight is a core principle of a high-performance building.
- Heat recovery ventilation provides balanced heat and moisture recovery throughout the home to maximize interior comfort and supply your super air tight home with fresh air constantly. No stuffiness when the windows and doors are closed.
- The elimination of thermal bridging, which is the process through which temperature transfers between one object and the next—like when a door feels hot to the touch indoors because the sun is shining on it from the outside.
These guidelines, plus others, all work together to accomplish several things. They drastically reduce the amount of energy that a home consumes for heating and cooling, as well as ensure the home is super comfy at all times.
Are Passive Homes Comfortable?
There are a few myths surrounding passive houses—and people wonder whether the airtight building envelope will lead to mold, moisture problems or stuffiness. The truth is that while passive homes do have an extremely airtight building envelope, they also have state-of-the-art ventilation systems specifically designed to not only maintain consistent temperatures but to prevent moisture issues or condensation that could lead to mold. They also provide the home with a constant supply of fresh filtered air so your home never feels stuffy.
These homes are known as the most comfortable out there—and that’s because of that airtight envelope. They’re completely draft-free, and temperatures are consistent everywhere, even near doors and windows.
Why Build a Passive House?
Building a passive house offers numerous benefits for homeowners. These energy-efficient homes provide deep energy savings, ensuring lower energy bills. With consistent interior temperatures year-round, passive houses offer enhanced comfort and a healthier living environment. They also have the ability to filter out all types of allergens and even wildfire smoke completely from the interior air of your home, adding an even larger level of comfort for you and your family.
Additionally, by reducing their carbon footprint, homeowners can contribute to a more sustainable future. Opting for passive house design principles not only enables homeowners to save costs in the long run but also ensures a durable, long-lasting and valuable investment.
Blue Water Concepts: Your Passive House Building Partner
We’re here to assist clients in the Whistler area and the Sea To Sky Corridor with their passive house construction needs. Let us be a part of designing your next home, where we’ll put in our utmost effort to bring your vision to life.
Our team is excited to start new projects, embrace new visions, and eagerly take on challenges for our clients. We take great pride in our work, striving to create innovative and personalized housing solutions for each and every one of our clients in Whistler.
Contact us today to discuss how we can help you achieve your passive house dream home. Let’s work together to create a sustainable, energy-efficient, and comfortable living space for you and your family.