Passive solar home design

Passive home design can greatly reduce and even completely eliminate the need for artificially generated energy to heat our homes.

Ecohome Demo House kitchen
© Ecohome
Regular Price
Workshop dates and locations
Some of our workshops do not have scheduled dates;
if you are interested in a course that is not currently scheduled, please feel free to contact us so we can inform you when a date is set.

Target Audience:

Architects, technologists, engineers, designers, general contractors, builders.

Course objectives:

To make passive heating and cooling the first thought in building design. For little or no cost at all, the first and very basic steps to passive home building can be taken, and greatly improve a home's energy performance and improve the quality of life for occupants.

This course will show participants how easy it is to take those first steps, and point them in the direction of a cold climate home designed to be heated exclusively by the sun, under our Net Zero Heat program.

Course outline:

Intro: passive solar versus active solar:
  • Active solar home designs and their efficiency
  • Comfort: thermal, air quality, noise, lighting
Characteristics of a passive house:
  • Shape: optimization of solar gain
  • Orientation & window placement
  • Eliminating thermal bridging
  • Heat retention and regulation
Building science fundamentals:
  • Air tightness: stopping heat loss and moisture damage in walls
  • Energy lost by air infiltration
  • Water transport through air movement and vapour diffusion
  • Better vapour control measures than polyethylene
  • Material choices: pros and cons, cost, return on investment
  • Hyper-insulation: the fine line between enough and too much
  • Different materials for different applications
  • Balance solar gain in winter with heat rejection in summer
Heat recovery ventilation:
  • Managing air quality and relative humidity
  • High heat recovery and electric efficiencies
  • Subsoil brine heat exchanger
  • Durability
  • Return on investment: immediate monthly savings
  • Increased market value
  • Comfort, health and security