Case study: The damn near Passive House

The Damn Near Passive House rated at Net Zero Heat 30
The Damn Near Passive House rated at Net Zero Heat 30

Performance: Net Zero Heat 30

Designed by future owner / builder Roy de Vries and Designer John Gower of Gower Design Group.

To be located in the Kootenays, BC, the 'damn near Passive House' exists so far in design only and is slated to break ground in the spring of 2014. Once built, this will be a 1,250 square foot single level home with a loft.

The original vision of Roy de Vries was to build the most ecologically responsible and cost-effective house he could, and set out with Passive House certification in mind. 

The name 'damn near' came from the decision the design team made to possibly hold back a bit from the requirements of the Passive House certification program, as they found that in order to reach the certification performance requirement of 15 kWh per square meter per year, they might actually be increasing the overall carbon footprint of the home, and not recoup the added cost needed to achieve certification.

The final design has an estimated operational energy load of 30 kWh per square meter per year, or about a quarter of what would be expected had they built simply to National Building Code requirements. 

The planned building envelope is one that designer John Gower believes will be the most cost-effective over the expected life of the home, and given its design parameters and materials, the best way to limit energy consumption (the financial cost and energy required to produce and purchase more insulation in this case would likely not be recouped of the homes lifecycle).

Visit the damn near Passive House website for more information.