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Green Basics

Passive House Video — Episode 1

Watch “Passive House Design,” the first episode in a 5-part video series on the theory, design, and construction of a Passive House. To see the entire series, click here to become a GBA Prime member.

THE PASSIVE HOUSE SERIES

Built to meet the world’s most rigorous standard for energy-efficient construction, a Passive House uses about one-tenth as much heating energy as a similarly sized older home. This feat is accomplished by carefully harmonizing countless design and construction details. At the time of this writing, just 71 houses have earned the Passive House Institute U.S. (PHIUS) certification. Architect Steve Baczek is responsible for designing a handful of them.

One architect’s approach to designing a house to meet the country’s most stringent energy requirement

      (Watch video above)


Episode 2: Air-sealed Mudsill Assembly
You only have one chance to get this critical detail perfect

Read the article                Watch the video

         


Episode 3: Superinsulated Slab
If you aren’t insulating the edge, you’re only doing half the job

Read the article                Watch the video

         


Episode 4: Framing for Efficiency
Double-stud walls and trusses create the ideal shell for an economical and efficient building

Read the article                Watch the video

         


Episode 5: Installing High-Performance Windows
By far the weakest link in a Passive House, windows must be installed perfectly

Read the article               Watch the video

         

Join GBA Prime Today

To watch the complete Passive House series and read the companion Fine Homebuilding articles, click here to join GBA Prime. Then, join the conversation with Architect Steve Baczek in the comments at the bottom of this page.

4 Comments

  1. Antonio Bettencourt | | #1

    Masonry walls
    This looks like it will be an interesting series and I expect to learn plenty.
    There seem to be a fair number of resources for how to improve our wood framing practices. I'm wondering about masonry wall design though. How does the added mass of masonry walls affect the building performance? I'm curious to learn more about both concrete block walls (insulated on the inside vs. the outside) and aerated autoclaved walls. Also, what are the best ways to handle wall openings.
    Do any of my fellow readers know of good resources for the above subjects?
    Thanks!

  2. User avater GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #2

    Response to Antonio Bettencourt
    Antonio,
    Q. "How does the added mass of masonry walls affect the building performance?"

    A. For a thorough answer to your question, see All About Thermal Mass.

  3. Elisabeth McCoy | | #3

    Windows
    Looking very forward to watching this series & reading the articles in Fine Homebuilding. Would greatly appreciate building material lists & manufacturers for such items as the windows, doors, heating cooling systems, etc.-most of us will most likely be rebuilding existing homes. Here, in northcentral PA, we don't have as many material choices/suppliers as metropolitan areas, nor are double studded walls even discussed, yet we/our contractor has built them into our last 2 residential rebuilds & the insulating/sound damping results have been very good. Thank you F.H.B. & G.B.A.-you're information is even getting out here & is being implemented! Now we just need 21st century materials to reach our area & at a reasonable cost! Looking forward to your materials list & future updates, deeply appreciated.

  4. User avater GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #4

    Response to Antonio Bettencourt
    Antonio,
    You might want to start by reading this article: All About Thermal Mass.

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    Passive House video — Episode 5

    In “Installing High-Performance Windows,” the fifth episode in a series of videos on a Passivhaus project, the crew installs triple-glazed Makrowin windows from Slovakia

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    Passive House video — Episode 4

    In “Framing for Efficiency,” the fourth episode in a series of videos on Passivhaus construction, the framing crew erects double-stud walls

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    Passive House video — Episode 2

    Watch “Airtight Mudsills,” the second episode in a series of videos on the theory, design, and construction of a Passive House in ­Falmouth, Massachusetts

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