Passive House Projects by Leading Portland Contractor Promise Energy Efficiency
Passive House is a practical, local and sustainable solution to global energy problems. Hammer and Hand has built and remodeled homes at the leading edge of the sustainable building movement for 15 years. The contractor recently added Portland Passive House projects to its portfolio.
Portland, OR June 30, 2010 – A Passive House is a structure that employs a set of simple technologies to achieve tremendous energy efficiency: a 90% reduction in energy consumption compared to conventional buildings. These efficiency gains aren’t achieved through strange designs or complex technologies. Instead, Passive House dwellings look and feel like normal, comfortable homes. Hammer and Hand, the Portland contractor and green builder, is at the leading edge of Portland Passive House development.
“Passive House is about simplicity over complexity,” says Sam Hagerman, co-founder of Hammer and Hand. “We’re not chasing a bunch of ‘green’ points here. Instead the buck stops at actual energy use. Simply put, how much energy is required to build and operate the space?”
Passive House projects achieve two goals – minimizing energy losses and maximizing passive energy gains. These goals are achieved through:
* thick insulation,
* few or no “thermal bridges” (elements or penetrations that allow heat or cold to leak through the thermal envelope),
* an airtight envelope,
* balanced energy recovery ventilation that continually brings in fresh air while capturing energy from exhausted air.
The result? Huge energy savings. All heating needs in a typical Passive House can be met by a single 1000-watt heater in most cold climates. Heat from people, lights, appliances and the sun does the rest.
“For years, the sustainable construction industry has been preoccupied with material choices – how sustainable is this bamboo? How local is this stone? What’s the recycled content of that floor covering?” says Daniel Thomas, Hammer and Hand’s other co-founder. “All of that is important, but the environmental impact of a building’s ongoing energy-use can dwarf those considerations. The Passive House addresses this operational carbon footprint head-on.”
Hammer and Hand will draw on its technical expertise, green building experience and commitment to exacting craftsmanship to create sustainable, energy efficient Passive House homes throughout the Portland region.
“Really we’re generating ‘negawatts’ when we build a Passive House,” says Hagerman. “Every bit of energy saved is equivalent to generating the same amount of energy at a power plant. Only totally clean.”
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