Michael Hindle will be participating in a Panel Discussion at the ACI (Affordable Comfort Institute) National Home Performance Conference in Baltimore entitled “Passive House: Yes or No?”. The Discussion will be on March 30th at 8:30 – 10:00 am under the “Shifting Paradigms” break-out track. The discussion promises to be an enlightening and frank discussion of the application of the Passive House Energy Standard in different climates and contexts. Participants will share perspectives from current projects, past projects and research. The conference agenda looks fantastic and the week promises to be very informative and inspiring. Please come join the discussion in Baltimore.
Chesapeake Passive House is collaborating with our design partner INDRAlogic on an exciting new Passive House in the beautiful mountains of Western Maryland! The site is challenging but gorgeous. The steep slope, the view to the east demanding significant amounts of Eastern glazing, the demanding program, and the clients desire for the house to settle unobtrusively into the hill have offered a wonderful design problem to address, particularly in light of energy performance. The selected design follows the slope and delivers a wonderful experience of the views. The design benefits from earth mass and solar gain, and is on target to hit the Passive House standard. We believe this house will be a holistic, beautiful and low impact home. Please check back as we post on our discussions, discoveries and design!
The Gaddy House project progresses well. We are almost ready to submit for pre-certification through PHIUS. There are still details to work out as we determine how the envelope can best be panelized and pre-fabricated. Final selection of windows also awaits final analysis and pricing. We were pleased to be able to put up a display board at the 6th Annual North American Passive House Conference in Silver Spring, MD. Thanks to Miche Booz and his staff at Miche Booz Architect for putting the display together. You can find many of the wonderful presentations given at the conference by going to the schedule tab of the conference page (linked above).
Free Energy: Passive Building Strategies Every Builder Can Use
Even for those not ready to make the jump to a fully passive home, there are steps every builder can take to dramatically boost a home’s performance. Passive building may seem like the cutting edge in energy-efficient construction, but its principles are far from new—and in an industry where the stakes are too high to take a chance on a fad, that’s a good thing. Fortunately for builders, people around the world have been using passive building to keep their homes comfortable for more than a thousand years. Why? Because they work, and free energy doesn’t go out of style. more….
Chesapeake Passive House has teamed up with Brennan+Company Architects on a retrofit of an historic building in Historic Ellicott City Maryland. The building is a commercial office space with three separate spaces on 2 and a half stories. When the project is complete the offices will become the home of Brennan+Company Architects and the eco-friendly kitchen and bath show-room, Alterego.
The building will be aggressively air-sealed and insulated in all accessible framing cavities of the original timber-frame structure with an additional thermal break layer furred out on the interior walls and against some roof rafters. The insulation will be comprised of a minimal close cell spray foam flash for better air sealing and urea-formaldehyde free blown in fiberglass.
The renovation of the second floor office space will include various “sustainable” materials; floating marmoleum flooring, floating cork flooring, floating bamboo flooring, wool carpeting tiles, zero-VOC paint, NAUF pantry cabinets, bamboo vanity + credenza, concrete counters, Icestone counters, Alchemy counters, and Water Sense fixtures.
Since the existing building prior to renovation had some very challenging design features, had been poorly renovated in the past, had a dangerous and cobbled together heating “system”, and was anything but air tight, it would be very hard to establish a baseline of performance for the existing structure. (It would have been completely impossible to perform a blower-door test anywhere near 50 pascals.)
That being said, the energy performance of the building should be dramatically improved. I would not be uncomfortable claiming 60% energy demand reductions, though given a lack of a baseline I cannot provide data. All of the energy modeling was based on conservative estimates and shows between 59% and 63% reduction in heating demands and a 52% decrease in cooling demand. Let’s just say this building was an environmental and occupant health disaster, and it will now boast a quite respectable level of performance and reductions in carbon footprint.
The project is currently under construction and we will be following up with details and construction photos.
The Gaddy House project in Clarkesville, MD got under way yesterday with our second schematic design meeting. The project will be a collaboration between the owner, who is himself trained in Passive House design, Miche Booz Architect, and Chesapeake Passive House.
Much to my surprise, after our first schematic design meeting review of 3 options, Miche had expanded the number of option from 3 – 8! All had positive aspects to them so I anticipated a grueling process of narrowing them down. It is a fascinating process of balancing energy efficiency goals, esthetics and program. In my view it is a wonderful design challenge that invites creativity and mindfulness, as was the case in this instance.
The meeting was very productive and Mr. Gaddy had a very clear intuition of what would meet his needs and reflect his environmental values. We went from 8 options down to one in a matter of an hour or so. That must be a record!
Please see the projects page for more information.
We made a visit to the site of the future Passive House Annapolis project to look more closely at the lot and perform some initial solar analysis. It is an absolutely beautiful setting and we enjoyed time just being in this small piece of rural Maryland preserved in this wonderful forest conservation easement. Due to the requirements to respect the forest conservation easement, solar gain will be a challenge. We believe that while taking only a few trees at a strategic distance from the house but still within the building disturbance area, we should be able to achieve sufficient gain in the winter while preserving shading in the summer to reduce cooling loads.
The building is being designed as a truly integrated design effort between INDRAlogic and Chesapeake Passive House. The process has been seamless and very enjoyable. It is remarkable how well (and easily) Passive House design can be when all the participants share the common goal of holistic sustainability and an awareness of the design principles in question.
Plans are well underway and renderings should be up soon!
Michael Hindle CPHC of Chesapeake Passive House will be speaking at the Solar and Wind Expo in King of Prussia PA, just outside of Philadelphia, at the Valley Forge Convention Center on June 11th at 3-4PM.
His talk will describe the principles and methodology behind the Passive House energy standard and include a discussion of a holistic sustainability and natural materials approach to energy efficiency, including information about global warming potential and embodied toxicity of some common insulation materials.
The talk will be followed by a question and answer period and a review of case studies, time permitting.
Michael spoke at the Solar and Wind Expo at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium, Maryland on May 13th and 15th .
EXTREME GREEN Rowhouse Renovation presented by Terralogos eco architecture
Tuesday April 26, 2011
TL offices: 2901 E. Baltimore Street
Baltimore, MD 21224
Please join us for free roundtable discussion on Rowhouse Renovations. This month we focus on going beyond energy efficient, “lite” green renovations to EXTREME GREEN, Part I with a presentation from our colleagues: Michael Hindle of Cheasapeake Passive House, a designer of extremely energy efficient homes that are affordable to construct while operating on 1/10th the energy for conventional homes, and Carri Beer from alterego, Maryland’s Premier Green Building Supply Showroom and green kitchen bath designers. We also plan to have a representative from a solar installation company join in the discussion.
We have LIMITED space so sign up today! RSVP at email@example.com or by phone, 410-276-8519.
Please note we are on the 3rd floor of a non-elevator building.
CHESAPEAKE PASSIVE HOUSE is pleased to announce a collaboration project with AHMANN ARCHITECTS.
A renovation of a 1970′s end unit town house in Potomac, MD is being designed with the intention of becoming the first residence in Montgomery County to meet the Passive House Retrofit Standard. In addition to the Passive House goal, the project is being designed with Universal Design concepts.