Standing in the middle of a job site, I gather my tool bag for the task ahead. Looking around, the multi-family development of cottages and townhomes is the perfect snapshot of a residential building site. Several structures are in different stages of completion; the project is behind schedule.
One architect's experience building with the Build SMART system
For readers that have been in energy efficient construction for a while now, you will probably relate to Tim McDonald's experience. When he got his Passive House certification in 2008, the process was, "from scratch in all ways." In our recent interview, Tim had this to say about some of his early work on energy efficient buildings. "I had to think through the most effective way to design the thermal envelope, the air barrier and the weather resistant barriers. I had to figure out the details of how a window joined with the wall so that it not only shed water but maintained the air tightness of the thermal envelope."
Multi-family building demonstrates a simple and easy recipe to achieve Passive House levels of energy efficiency.
You're probably not going to believe this story. But it's true. All of what follows is true.
It admittedly may sound like a stretch that building a multi-family structure to Passive House standards can be done not only at market rate (or better) compared to conventional construction, but also with a method that saves time and money, and is simple to implement.
But living proof of that model exists in a 52,781-square-foot, 49-unit structure called Whitehall in Spring City, Pa., that's effectively debunking many commonly held notions about building green, or building to Passive House standards of extreme energy efficiency.
Multi-family passive house structure in Pennsylvania to give veterans the homes they deserve.
Forty-nine apartment units in a three-story building called Whitehall in Spring City, Pa., will soon provide U.S. war veterans with housing that’s safe, comfortable and affordable.
The complex, about 30 miles northwest of Philadelphia, will also meet one of the world’s most exacting energy performance standards, called Passive House, which will result in extremely low energy bills for the occupants when it opens in March 2017.