The simple form of the house is sited and designed so that every important living space has south sun exposure, providing solar gains during peak sun hours.
The largely open plan allows for light sharing and cross ventilation of the space for heating and cooling. A large exterior balcony takes advantage of Western views to the mountains and a long continuous exterior stair and garden space connects the garage and house, also forming a view corridor to the west. The main floor is designed for the homeowners and the lower walk out for their guests.
The heating and ventilation system consists of a high efficiency energy recovery ventilator (ERV) and electric resistance heaters with a hybrid heat pump water heater. The mechanical system compliments the super-insulated, airtight envelope of the home and offers summer free-cooling. The house will use approximately 85 percent less energy for heating and cooling compared to typical construction and will approach net zero energy use with the addition of a solar PV array. Approximately 1/3 of the space heating energy is provided by the south facing windows, 1/3 from internal heat gains such as appliances and 1/3 from the heating system. The home design meets the Passive House Institute low energy requirements although certification is not sought.
The home is designed for 0% overheating but has rough ins for exterior operable shutters on the south window as a contingency for future climate warming and change. A 2” concrete topping on the main floor provides a thermal mass to collect solar gains in the day and releases the heat as the air cools off at night. Low embodied carbon blown cellulose is used for insulation in the attic and deep double stud walls. The roof is a standing seam concealed fastener metal roof so that water collected in cisterns around the home is not contaminated by toxins that may be in asphalt or wood. Fiber cement siding is used for fire resistance and durability. Passive house rated frames and triple pane glass windows are used for cost and durability. The surrounding site will be designed and planted around permaculture principals.
Design and Documentation: Liza Valentine Architect AAA, LEED AP BD+C
Energy Efficiency Consultant: Frank Crawford P.Eng CPHD
Mechanical Engineer : Michael Nemeth P.Eng LEED AP
Structural engineer: Colin Campbell P.Eng.