Build SMART was an early entrant in the fabrication of Passive House-quality panels, having been established in 2015 by David Boyer, the president of PROSOCO. Since then, Build SMART has been involved in numerous multifamily and single-family residential builds—all of which have met Passive House performance levels. With its central location, Build SMART has delivered its airtight prefabricated panels to project sites across North America, with most being shipped to the eastern halves of the United States and Canada.
The company’s services begin with project estimating and design optimization and carry through to panel assembly, quality assurance, and finally to construction support. “We encourage architects to contact us in the early stages of a project, so they can understand how to minimize a project’s cost and avoid redesigns,” says Paul Grahovac, vice president for new business development.
The firm’s structural panels are fully customizable to suit the climate they will be installed in by varying the thickness of the exterior EPS insulation layer. While windows are optional, all of its wall panels to date have included them, and the windows used are almost exclusively manufactured by Alpen High Performance Products.
The airtight construction of Build SMART’s panels makes hitting Passive House performance targets easy, although the final installation of the panels is the responsibility of a local contractor. Still, as Grahovac points out, “At our first 52,000-ft2 building, it took one blower door unit with a single fan in one doorway to immediately pressure up the building, and it beat the Passive House standard. And every single project since has achieved that.”
This success is at least partially due, Grahovac adds, to the fact that the process of screwing the panels together on site is simple enough that laborers can be coached to do it correctly in short order. At one Pennsylvania affordable housing project built with the firm’s panels, Grahovac notes, “Two unskilled laborers installed panels at a rate of 30-40 lineal feet per hour.” Whatever the project size or complexity, Build SMART eases the process of delivering a high-performance building envelope by harnessing its own skilled crews to produce its high-quality standardized components.