A passive house is currently under construction in Amherst on Potwine Avenue. A passive house is one that is designed to use much less energy than conventional homes, even Energy Star homes and LEED certified homes. The idea is to maximize energy gains, while minimizing energy losses.
The owner has been writing about passive houses and the construction process in a blog aptly titled, “Potwine Passive House Blog”. The project started last month and will continue until June, according to the owner’s blog where you can get more details about the design and components of this home.
Construction started with the installation of a frost protected shallow foundation. It is also more of a super-insulate slab than a foundation. The blog post about the slab includes a cross section of its structure a link to an article explaining how this is an energy saving feature.
Getting the most out of the square footage is the topic of another post. The house the owners are building only has 1,100 square feet of living space due to the costs of construction for this type of home. However, as the owner correctly points out, the energy costs are significantly less, thereby making this type of home more affordable than one might think.
For anyone who is big on reducing their dependency on fossil fuels, a passive house is definitely worth exploring. The Potwine Passive House Blog is also a great way to learn about building one as the author also shares the challenges he faces along the way.
If you are planning on buying or selling a home in the Pioneer Valley, make your first call to Michael Seward at 413-531-7129. Michael Seward is a Certified Residential Specialist, a Certified Buyers Agent, a Certified Loss Mitigation Specialist, a Certified New Homes Specialist, and Green designee of the National Association of REALTORS®.