A day of Passive House in Seattle for Hammer & Hand

Sam Hagerman and Dan Whitmore present at SHKS Architects, then host Passivhaus tour.

Seattle WA builder: Passivhaus - Courtland PlaceHigh performance building – it’s what we want to be doing as a company, and it’s what more and more of our clients demand.  After all, who doesn’t want a home or business that’s efficient and comfortable?  Passive House harnesses cutting-edge building science to create very high performance buildings cost-effectively.  So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Passive House is gaining traction here in Seattle. Still, it’s pretty exciting to be at the leading edge of Seattle’s high performance building wave.  It’s a big reason we’re remodeling and building here in the first place.

The latest evidence of this trend was on display on a sunny Thursday last week.  Alison Walker Brems of SHKS Architects invited Sam Hagerman and Dan Whitmore to present about Passive House at the firm’s weekly “lunch-n-learn”.  Many of the principles of Passive House are already being employed by SHKS in its design work, and a lively exchange about building science lasted a solid two hours.  (Thank you to everyone at SHKS for hosting us and engaging with us in our building science absorption.)

We then headed south to Seattle’s Rainier Valley to set up the Courtland Place Passive House for Hammer & Hand’s open house and tour there.   Courtland Place, built by Dan in 2010 when he was a solo builder, is Seattle’s first and (still) only Passive House.

Seattle Passive House tour, Dan Whitmore of Hammer & Hand pictured.
Dan Whitmore describes the wall assembly of his Courtland Place Passive House.

A crowd of 70+ architects, builders, green building aficionados and curious homeowners joined Hammer & Hand for the tour.  Dan shared the features and lessons learned from the project and he and Sam discussed the promise of Passive House for Seattle’s built environment.

Seattle Passive House tour, Dan Whitmore of Hammer & Hand pictured.
Dan describes the high performance features of the Courtland Place Passive House.

A number of new Passive House projects are on their way in Seattle, a few by our colleagues in the green building scene here (including Cascade Built, who joined us for the tour) and a couple new Passive House homes in development by Hammer & Hand (more detail on these will come later).  So, happily, Courtland Place will soon be joined by other Seattle Passive Houses.  We’re happy to celebrate Courtland Place as the “first,” but equally happy for it to give up the distinction of being the “only.”

Seattle Passive House tour, Sam Hagerman of Hammer & Hand pictured.
Sam Hagerman discusses the virtues of the Passive House building energy standard, and its application in Seattle.

Thursday was a great day for H&H.  Our expansion into Seattle is already enormously exciting for all of us, but this success in connecting with folks around high performance building and Passive House makes it doubly so.

More to follow!

– Zack (Connect with me at +ZacharySemke)

P.S.  Thanks to Jeff Tan, Marketing Coordinator with Hammer & Hand, for the tour photos (the first thumbnail photo of the project is by Sozinho Imagery).  He’ll also be sharing a cool video of Sam and Dan at Courtland Place in a few days, so please stay tuned.

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