Taking an Active Role in Energy Efficiency with Passive House

Are you interested in a more sustainable way of living on the planet? Have you heard of Passive House?

Treehouse Village Ecohousing hosted a webinar on April 18 to share why we’re building our 30 homes to the high energy-efficient standards of Passive House.

Treehouse Village is a multi-age cohousing community now in development on 15 acres of land in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia. We’re dedicated to reducing our environmental footprint, and one way we’ll do that is by ensuring our homes are built and certified to the high standards of the Passive House Institute US (PHIUS).

Hosted by Treehouse Villager Emma Savage, this second in our series of “Next Gen Housing” webinars was presented in honour of Earth Day, April 22. Emma was joined by three of her future neighbours, Andrew Harvie (second from right in the image above), Leon de Vreede (right), and Wayne Groszko (left).

Homes built to Passive House standards cost next to nothing to heat and cool.

Homes built to Passive House standards cost next to nothing to heat and cool. They ensure a healthy living space by using Energy Recovery Ventilation to maintain air exchange without leaking heat (in winter) or cold (in summer). Passive homes are built and tested to a quality much higher than minimum code requirements. Passive homes also significantly reduce maintenance needs over the long term — another crucial way to save our planet and save your money.

Emma was joined by three of her future neighbours, Andrew Harvie, Leon de Vreede, and Wayne Groszko.

There’s a lot of modelling up front, we get the specifications right, and everything has to be tested. The result? Healthy, cozy homes that will last — and you’ll have low heating bills!

Andrew Harvie

Andrew is a mechanical engineer with a background in technical education and database programming. He provided an overview of how Passive House works through high insulation values, great air-flow systems, and clean energy requirements. Why is Passive House such a great way to build? “There’s a lot of modelling up front, we get the specifications right, and everything has to be tested,” says Andrew. The result? “Healthy, cozy homes that will last — and you’ll have low heating bills!”

This is an exciting way to contribute to the next generation of housing in Nova Scotia.

Leon de Vreede

Leon works as a sustainability planner for the Town of Bridgewater, where Treehouse Village will be located. He’s dedicated to ensuring that quality, sustainable housing is available to all members of the community. As Atlantic Canada’s largest multi-unit residential Passive House development, Treehouse is working with many local tradespeople and will pave the way as a new housing model. “This is an exciting way to contribute to the next generation of housing in Nova Scotia,” says Leon. “It’s also a great way to pool our collective efforts and build top-notch housing together.”

A passive house can save 11 tons in greenhouse gas emissions each year. After 50 years, that’s a significant positive impact.

Wayne Groszko

Wayne is a research scientist and sustainable energy consultant, who runs the Applied Energy Research Lab at the Nova Scotia Community College. Through his own research, he’s spent time in several passive houses and can attest to how comfortable — and affordable — they are. While the initial construction cost is slightly higher than for conventional, code construction, the immediate energy savings are substantial. For example, a passive house in New Brunswick reduced its annual heating bill from $2,200 to $77. Passive houses are also built to last for 50 to 100 years. “A passive house can save 11 tons in greenhouse gas emissions each year,” says Wayne. “After 50 years, that’s a significant positive impact.”

Read about our professional team, including our architects and project managers.

Be sure to watch the 45-minute webinar for the details on why and how we’re committed to Passive House construction to create a better future for our children and our planet.

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Categories Passive House

Post Author: Treehouse Village

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