In an article from Pro Builder, Natalie Leonard describes some of the ways that designers can build to the Passive House standard without incurring significant costs. She notes that the three key factors that influence the cost of a building are size, complexity of design, and level of finishing, and that one can drastically cut costs if one is cognizant of how these elements affect budget. By taking design considerations like these to heart, Leonard writes that the costs of building to the Passive House standard can even be reduced to the point of parity with a code-built home with equivalent square footage.
For Leonard, the founding partner of Passive Design Solutions in Halifax, Nova Scotia, this means doing things like optimizing the building site to maximize solar gains in the winter, designing a compact building shape and placing more elaborate design features beyond the building’s envelope, and using locally sourced materials and labor. She offers even more useful advice that can be found in the article here.
[Photo: Jane Brokenshire Photography]