Get your popcorn and other goodies! If your cell phone is on and the kids are noisy – hey, it's your house!
Today I am posting a few videos about Passive Houses and their construction. I wanted to talk about video resources that are available on the internet for those who haven't considered checking Youtube for examples of Passive House construction. Youtube and other websites that feature videos that can be posted by individuals and companies have a variety of offerings. As with any kind of information found on the internet, buyer beware. I would like to add that I am not offering an endorsement of any of the videos, but rather using them as teaching tools.
The first video I want to share is from a website that wants you to tell them your desire for a Passive House. They show a lot of concepts that they feel could be done as Passive, or perhaps have been done as Passive Houses. I'm not sure from the video exactly what their position is, but I still liked the video for a few different reasons. The first is they are showing a variety of housing styles. The emphasis is that Passive Houses do not have to be cookie cutter or just plain boxes. This leads me to the second reason I liked this video – it gives me an opportunity to point out that this is where you need to beware as a buyer. Not every one of the houses shown may work on your lot, in the orientation that you want, or within the budget that you have. As with building any style home, Passive House or otherwise, you must be realistic. That said – enjoy the first video!
The second video I want to share is of the interior of a Passive House. I liked this video because it showed all aspects of a Passive House and as someone who is considering living in a Passive House, you can place yourself among the happy family, in the stunning environment, with all the clutter tucked away. Hmmm, seems I slipped the second reason in with the first – if you don't have the immaculate home now, you probably won't have it then. When you watch this video, look at the things that you want to be sure to notice – the thickness of the exterior walls at the windows and doorways. The thickness of the interior walls – just like you are used to. The amount of light and room. The fact that this particular house has some kind of a fireplace (is it gel? I don't know – that would be something to wonder about.) You obviously can't tell how the building feels, or if it is quieter, but you couldn't tell that from any video of any style building. You will have to experience a Passive House to answer those questions for yourself. Here is the second video:
The final video I am including is one that I wanted the contractors among us to see. It is a collection of still pictures and videos of a small commercial office project that was built in England. You can see from the video that it appears to be construction as you know it. That is the big take away – building a Passive House is still construction as you know it, with attention to details that make the building tighter and more insulated. Do you use housewrap now? You will still use it – with extra care given to how it is sealed and perforated. Do you install insulation now? You will still install insulation, though it might be thicker or of a different material. There may also be additional sealing, and thermal testing to assure that the insulation is placed properly. The windows will most likely be triple pane and there will be additional air sealing care taken in their installation. Do you know how to use backer rod, spray insulation, and sealing tape? Those are just some of the materials that can be used in a Passive House window installation as well – only with extreme care to make sure the voids are completely insulated and the tape is thoroughly stuck down. These are just some of the ways construction will vary, but as you can tell, it should not be outside your ability to learn. Here is the third video – construction as usual, with attention to certain details that make it a Passive House.
These were just three different videos available on the internet. There are plenty. You can search on Youtube.com for "Passive House" or "PassiveHaus". Be sure to watch for the supporting evidence of the people who are posting. Are they Certified Passive House Consultants? Do they say they are building "like Passive House"? Visit their websites, judge what you are seeing, and if you are unsure – ask a Certified Passive House Consultant to help you understand Passive House better. We'd love to talk Passive House with you!