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N03 Ballard Passive House

This Passive House in Ballard will combine revolutionary performance with a PV-array, on-site stormwater treatment, rainwater harvesting, and sustainable finishes. Construction will be complete mid-May 2013. This single-family Passive House (aka Passivhaus) home building project in Seattle's Ballard neighborhood is motivated by twin convictions held by the client: first, that the comfort and durability of the Passive House standard makes it the "right way to build"; and second, that the huge reduction in energy use makes it the right thing to do for future generations.
N03 Ballard Passive House

Location

Seattle, WA 98117

Hammer & Hand | VELOCIPEDE architects

This Passive House in Ballard will combine revolutionary performance with a PV-array, on-site stormwater treatment, rainwater harvesting, and sustainable finishes. Construction will be complete mid-May 2013. This single-family Passive House (aka Passivhaus) home building project in Seattle's Ballard neighborhood is motivated by twin convictions held by the client: first, that the comfort and durability of the Passive House standard makes it the "right way to build"; and second, that the huge reduction in energy use makes it the right thing to do for future generations.

For the homeowner, two principles guide the Ballard Passive House, a new single-family house now under construction:

  1. It’s the right way to build.
  2. It’s the right thing to do for future generations.

Durable and Energy Efficient

HH_Vel_01The durability of Passive House construction guarantees long building life, and major reductions in building energy consumption minimize carbon footprint.

Note that Passive House, a low energy technique developed in Germany, is distinct from passive solar houses that are often built in sunny deserts.  Passive House can be built in any climate, including cloudy Seattle.  Passive House buildings offer practical, local solutions to big, global energy problems.  But even more important, they're the most comfortable, peaceful, and healthy living or working spaces available anywhere.

Passive House combines straightforward building technologies with advanced computer energy simulation to achieve revolutionary building performance, comfort and indoor air quality.  All heating needs in the Ballard Passive House will be met by a single 1000-watt heater.  People, lights, appliances and the sun do the rest.

We make this happen without relying on expensive gadgetry or strange building design.  Instead, Passive House takes seven “off the shelf" building and design approaches and, guided by Certified Passive House Consultant expertise, combines them for the most optimized design and build:

  1. Super-insulate.
  2. Eliminate "thermal bridges".
  3. Build airtight.
  4. Ventilate with energy recovery.
  5. Use good windows & doors.
  6. Optimize solar & heat gains.
  7. Model with advanced software.

HH_Vel_02With architectural design by VELOCIPEDE architects, engineering by Carissa Farkas Structural Engineering, and Passive House consulting and construction by Hammer & Hand, the Ballard PH proves that the solar siting and building orientation required by the Passive House approach is both doable and affordable in a residential neighborhood context.

The project team sited the 1,800 square foot house forward on the lot to provide space in back for water intrusion fields that will capture storm water onsite.  Hammer & Hand removed the existing dilapidated structure from the site, deconstructing as much of the failing house as possible.  This salvaged material will be put into the construction of the new Passive House.

The home is designed and built to be net-zero ready.  And because the project is Passive House, it’s energy loads will be so small that a very modest photovoltaic system will easily bring the home to net-zero when added in the future.

The home’s advanced building envelope (super-insulated and airtight) is all about simplicity over complexity.  2X8 advanced framing minimizes wood used on the structure and provides more insulative space.  Dense-packed fiberglass fills the interior cavities of the wall, and three inches of poly-iso insulation wraps the exterior in two layers to offset joints.  By combining a now-standard framing technique with a little extra insulation on the outside the wall assembly provides an economical and easy-to-build approach to Passive House levels of super-insulation.

Similarly, the project’s air sealing approach is easy to understand and implement.   On the ceiling, which is covered by 24 includes of blown-in cellulose, a continuous layer of taped OSB caps the interior of the structure.  Prosocco joint and seam filler seal this layer to the exterior wall system.  On the four exterior walls, big sheets of sealed plywood minimize joints and seams.  Joint and seam filler and acoustic sealant seal the transition from wall to floor.

Construction of the home will be completed in late May so tour-goers will see the project in its final stages.  A full mock-up of the home’s advanced building envelope will be on display, as well as blower door testing equipment.

N03 Ballard Passive House
Architectural elevation
N03 Ballard Passive House
Architectural elevation
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