11th Annual Passive House Days 2014 in Surrey and Vancouver – Thanks everyone for attending!

The 11th Annual International Passive House Days from November 7 – 9 enjoyed the active participation of more than 500 buildings. Passive House owners all over the world opened their doors and invited the public in to see for themselves the beauty and quality of these buildings. Marken Design + Consulting had two buildings participating in the International Passive House Days this year.

Surrey Prefab Passive House

Family Hotell – Surrey Prefab Passive House (Credit: Gord Goble)

The first was the dynamic, prefabricated, multi-generational Hotell residence in southwestern Surrey. The home was designed for three generations to co-habit the roughly 3,800ft2 home, with the grandparent’s suite on the main floor and their daughter’s family on the second level. Each suite has its own kitchen, living and dining space, and the two suites share a laundry space on the first level. The home boasts a wide range of sustainability features including regionally sourced materials, low flow water fixtures, low VOC materials, triple pane windows and doors, solar hot water, rainwater collection, and more.

Photo Credit: Shamit Sthankiya - Kitchen, Dining, Living

Photo Credit: Shamit Sthankiya – Kitchen, Dining, Living

The homeowners and Marken Design + Consulting were present for the open house to talk about the homes features and to give tours of the building. Other consultants involved in the project were also present to showcase the innovative components of the home, including Roxul (Insulation), Barr Plastics (rainwater collection system), BC Passive House (prefabricated walls, floors and roofing systems) and Viessmann (solar hot water system). The home is the recipient of the 2014 Surrey Clean Energy Award. Information about the award was also on display and a topic of conversation.

After the first 18 months of inhabiting the house, the owners have reported their BC Hydro bill is approximately $60/month for the entire house and the families did not have to turn on the heat once in the 1.5 years of living in their Passive House. The owners accepted visitors from 10am-4pm on Saturday November 8, 2014, with a constant stream of people throughout the day. More details on the Hotell Passive House Residence can be found here and on Marken Designs + Consulting website.


Casa Pasiva Vancouver – Passive House Days 2014

The second participating building was the low energy in-fill home ‘Casa Pasiva’ in Vancouver on East 15th Ave. A retirement gift the owners are building for themselves, this home will have two bedrooms and will be just over 1,000ft2. The first blower door test yielded an amazing airtightness of 0.3 ACH. Since it is currently in the pre-drywall phase of the project, visitors of the open house were able to get a grasp of the airtightness strategy, the windows, and the ventilation system.

In addition to Marken Design + Consulting and Econ Group (the builder), the owners were on site to answer questions and give tours to interested individuals. Representatives from Roxul (insulation) and  Euroline Windows were available to answer any technical questions about the home’s design and innovative strategies. There was also additional information provided on the CNC manufacturing company, Cut My Timber, who pre-cut all the wood and panels for the home and Red Door Energy advisor who performed the Energuide rating including blower door test.

Casa Pasiva - Passive House Days 2014 (Credit: Red Door Energy Advisors)

Casa Pasiva – Passive House Days 2014 (Credit: Red Door Energy Advisors)

Upon entering the Casa Pasiva, guests were greeted with refreshments kindly sponsored by Roxul Insulation and Euroline Windows. While sipping their coffee, visitors were able to engage the consultants and owners of the home. Common questions of guests ranged from general to more technical. Questions like: What is a passive house and why does this home not qualify? Why is a special tape used to tape wholes and cracks? How does an HRV work? How was it possible to make this home the most airtight in Vancouver? What are the construction costs? What is the difference between an infill home and a laneway house? Why are windows installed between the insulation layer and the interior stud wall? And more.

Interestingly, the main house on the property, a heritage home, is also being renovated at the same time with upgrades to its windows and insulation to boost thermal performance. As Paul Richard, one of the visitors to the open house stated in his blog, “What I saw convinced me that heritage character and energy efficiency are quite compatible.” He goes on to say, “To have numerous energy efficient houses would result in a much lower need for power, so reducing greenhouse gas emissions…Seeking “negawatts” – that is, looking for energy efficiencies – is still the cheapest source of power.”

Heritage Renovation Vancouver

Heritage Renovation Vancouver

Visitors to the Casa Pasiva were accepted from 10am-4pm on Sunday November 9, 2014. More details on the home can be found here and on the Marken Designs + Consulting website.

More information on the International Passive House Days can be found here. We look forward to seeing you next year!


Euroline Windows

Euroline Windows

Roxul Insulation

Roxul Insulation