TE Studio is a co-founder and proud supporter of the local Passive House Alliance chapter. Please join us for an opportunity to learn about and experience Passive House—the World’s most comfortable and energy effcient building standard.
Three of our designs will be open to the public on November 9 and 10, 2013.
Passive House in the Woods, Konkol Residence
Wisconsin’s first certified Passive House; net-energy positive energy performance
Open November 9 from 9 to 11:30AM.
908 Kirkwood Way North
Town of Hudson, WI 54016
Open November 9 from 2 to 4 PM
5605 Bloomington Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55417
Northfield Passive House Farm
Open November 10 from 10:30 AM to Noon.
The Passive House Farm in July 2013.
Our Passive House in the Woods is part of an article in today’s Wall Street Journal on zero energy homes. The article is called “Stealthy Green Homes“.
In 2011, Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center completed a Deep Energy Reduction Retrofit of its director’s residence—its oldest most energy inefficient building—with the help of TE Studio. The residence was originally built in 1973. It used to be heated with 17 cords of split, dried oak firewood. It was extremely leaky—during a home audit in 2007, it would not achieve 50 Pascals of pressure during the initial blower door test. It eventually achieved a 0.45 ACH50 reading.
We provided initial consulting and retrofit designs for this project, which was later executed with the help of many volunteers. The home was just recognized by ACI as the 9th in the country to meet the 1000 Home Challenge, and as the first project in Minnesota to do so.
Find the official letter of recognition from ACI below the break.
We finally got around to rendering a current project in rural Minnesota. This farmhouse replaces a family home and becomes the new hub on the property. It is designed to meet the Passive House standard and become net-zero or energy plus with the addition of a future PV system on the south-facing roof slope, as shown on the southwest corner rendering below.
In addition to the living spaces, this project includes a front porch, garage/workshop, and back porch.
Ground breaking is scheduled for late summer.
One of our early works was just awarded the Minnesota GreenStar Gold certification—representing their highest category for remodeled homes. The project consisted of building envelope upgrades and mechanical systems enhancements, as well as remodeling and adding with earth friendly practices and materials.
The Passive House in the Woods received the highest Minnesota GreenStar® certification (Gold) today. We are very excited to see the certification come through and congratulate the owner and all the team members involved in the design and construction on this achievement!
We used the Minnesota GreenStar® program to compliment the Passive House certification. It’s green markers helped track resource efficiency, indoor environmental quality, water conservation, and reduced site and community impact, with the energy efficiency requirement being met and exceeded by the achievement of the Passive House certification.
Richard Defendorf of GreenBuildingAvdisor.com put together a little follow up on the 1st year performance of the Passive House in the Woods project in Hudson, WI. You can read the entire article after the jump: Passive House in the Woods Goes Energy-Positive.
At TE Studio we are fortunate enough to attract some pretty incredible people. Most recently, we were commissioned by a couple from South Minneapolis to bring their mid-30s home into the 21st century of performance. A brief description of their family reads like this:
Two grown-ups, three girls, two dogs and eight chickens. A 1935 neo-Tudor in Minneapolis, MN. A passion for the planet.
You can see where we are going with this. With ground-breaking in sight, we are looking to make a Passive House retrofit. “Ze Germans” call it EnerPHit—as in energy efficient passive house retrofit.
This means some significant changes—most noticeably to the building envelope, or those bits that separate inside from out. TE Studio is providing the design for this winter coat. We are looking to sustainable materials in an effort to cut the heating demand to about 12kBTUs, or about three hairdryers going at the same time. 9-1/2″ i-Joists will be screwed to an air-tightened sheathing layer on the outside of the current shell, and dense-packed with cellulose insulation for an R-value of 44. Since we are also adding to the back of the house we decided to design a new “hat” for the home. A trussed hip-roof will provide R-77 of cellulose insulation. Even the basement will be insulated to R-values in the 30s. Combined with an airtightness goal of 1.0 ACH50 or better, this retrofit will meet the requirements set forth in the current draft of the EnerPHit standard. According to the German Passiv Haus Institute, this is the first EnerPHit project in North America.
Mechanical ventilation is a good idea for most buildings, but it is essential for any high-performance building. We designed an ERV-based whole house system with an efficiency rating of over 90%. This means that the precious heating energy will remain inside the envelope while the occupants are supplied with outside air year-round. We are able to recycle the home’s existing boiler and continue to heat the home with in-floor heat. The same boiler will also provide hot water. This project demonstrates the amazing potential of a high-efficiency design for existing homes in a cold climate through a great amount of recycling of what is existing—paired with carefully selected sustainable materials and methods for the retrofit and what is new.
The design is complementary to the building’s origins and surroundings. An open first floor plan will provide much needed space for the family, and offer a connection with the backyard. On the second floor we are adding bed rooms for the kids and an additional bath. At just over 2,000 finished square feet (counting the basement), this is no mansion for 5 people and two dogs, but with its well organized layout, it will be incredibly functional.
We are very excited about this project. The owners are offering updates on the project at http://www.minnephithouse.com
Only one question left to ask: What do the chickens think of this?