One architect’s approach to designing a house to meet the country’s most stringent energy requirement
Video Extra: The Passive House Build, Part 1
For the first part of a new FHB series exploring the construction of a new Passive House in Falmouth, Mass., architect Steve Baczek writes about his design philosophy for creating one of these highly energy-efficient homes. Baczek strives to design Passive Houses that blend in to their communities, but focuses on energy efficiency throughout the design process. Because Passive Houses have such strict performance tolerances, Baczek creates a set of construction drawings that are highly detailed and specific. After the plans are done, Baczek likes to meet with the builder, carpenters, and subcontractors to discuss the plans, answer questions, and explain details. He also discusses the building sequence, which is often tweaked to help the crew test air-leakage rates at different stages of construction. This article includes sidebars describing the guidelines for a Passive House and an illustration highlighting details that make up a Passive House.