Silvergreen Passive House at the Global Passive House Happy Hour

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Shannon Pendleton of Sanderson Sustainable Design, Ilka Cassidy of Holzraum System, and Angela Iraldi of Re:Vision joined forces at the Passive House Accelerator Happy Hour to speak about a project they all played a part in, the Silvergreen project. Silvergreen is a PHIUS+ pre-certified Passive House prefabricated multi-family house and carriage house located in Pennsylvania outside of Philadelphia. With a history at the site reaching back to the 1700s, they had to work to balance respect for the heritage of the location, while at the same time introducing cutting-edge green technology to the project.

Shannon Pendleton spoke first about the project’s broader green building strategies, using Passive House as the goal and Living Building Challenge as the guide. They created an airtight envelope, with super insulated, thermal-bridge-free design, wrapping everything except the garage in the Passive House envelope. The process was not without its challenges, however. She revealed it took them three tries to pass the blower door test to Passive House level standards. The team overcame these hurdles by doing thorough air leakage inspections, and patched up the problems where they were found, particularly in the ceiling. Check out the video to learn the secrets to their eventual success.

Ilka Cassidy spoke next and focused on her work designing and modeling the to-be-prefabricated components, such as the prefab wall assemblies with pre-installed triple glazed windows. In order to maximize smooth communication with the panel manufacturers, they modeled every part and created a Single Integrated Manufacturing Model (SIM Model) that allowed for fabrication coordination and clash detection, and also produced machine files and reference panel drawings that were then used for production. The components were largely constructed via robotic fabrication, although some pieces, such as the arched windows, had to be built by hand. It was the full integration produced by the SIM Model that allowed for such complex work to move seamlessly from their hands on to the manufacturers.

Finally, Angela Iraldi, the PHIUS certifier, discussed the project process and milestones, with PHIUS oversight helping to resolve issues early on and the team working closely together to solve these issues. The Silvergreen project is expected to be finished during July of 2021, a satisfyingly successful conclusion to an epic project.

View chat transcript.