You may have heard the term Passive House—or maybe you haven’t. Regardless, you should know it. It is where we came from and where we are going. It’s where we should be.
What is a passive house? The simplest way to think about it is this: A passive house heats and cools itself by being built to strict requirements and taking advantage of its surroundings. Sunshine, shade, and ventilation influence design and structure. Superior windows, quality insulation, and airtight construction result in a lack of need for active heating and cooling systems.
Ben Beveridge, a director at Taigh Sidhean, is working hard to make passive homes the norm in the Okanagan, not the exception. “There are no excuses anymore. Our goal is simple. All new homes in Canada will be built to passive, net-zero standards,“ states Beveridge. “We have the resources and knowledge to build better. So why aren’t we? It's the right thing to do, the smart thing to do, the profitable thing to do."
Following the five passive house principles and focusing on space heating, primary energy, airtightness and thermal comfort makes it possible for a passive home to use 90% less energy than a conventional home.
Taigh Sidhean is taking the lead in making passive homes attainable for more people. “Our role is to reach the people who are ready to move in this direction and to connect them with the right builders, the right designers, the right team to make their dreams a reality.” Sidhean meets with clients who want a passive home and then builds a network of designers and builders to deliver what the client is looking for.
Beveridge also recognizes that it’s not just about being green, that the focus shouldn’t all be on the specs or materials or process. “How do you want to live? What is your home to you? How do you use it?” The passive approach starts even before design does, with questions related to your lifestyle. Are you a car collector who needs that perfect garage for tinkering? Or are you a family of seven with pets and an abundance of toys? Understanding who you are and how you use your home will help determine how to actually construct your home to meet passive standards.
Passive homes give us all the opportunity to design, build and live in exactly the home we are meant to have. The upfront planning means that the years you spend in the home will not only mean savings in your pocket but contribute to the sustainability of the environment.
Beveridge and his team are excited about the interest and enthusiasm from both industry and consumers. “I’m thrilled to be the connector ... to help people realize their vision. It’s amazing to see the shift in the industry as government and consumer values, ideals, and actions come to be more in line with building a sustainable future.”
Contact Taigh Sidhean today to discuss your passive home dreams.
This article is written by or on behalf of the sponsoring client and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.