Green Has Arrived in St. Paul

What is Passive House Design?

In 1991, Austrian physicist Dr. Feist developed the Passivhaus (the German term) standard for houses and buildings that are heated and cooled through passive means, like solar panels, heat recovery air exchangers, hot water recovery, insulation, and more. This means there are no mechanical systems powering a Passive House building.

These buildings must reach multiple standards and use the 5 main principles to attain this goal. As a pre-certified Passive House building, Verdant is 90% more efficient than standard buildings while providing an inviting and comfortable place to live.

The 5 Main Principles
  • High-Performance, Triple-Pane Windows

    While most energy efficient windows are double paned and made of argon glass, Verdant uses triple-pane fiberglass windows, insulated frames with glass spacers, and quality insulation. Due to the chambers that separate the 3 panes of glass, you can say goodbye to cold, drafty windows. It also adds soundproof qualities, which lets in the light but keeps out the noise.
  • Continuous, Super-Insulated Envelope

    A continuous layer of super insulation runs throughout the exterior building frame, including the foundation, walls, and roof. This prevents heat from escaping, thus lowering the amount of energy needed to maintain a comfortable temperature.
  • Airtightness

    The building envelope is extremely airtight, which prevents conditioned air from escaping and outside air from invading. It also prevents leaks around doors, windows, exterior wall outlets, pipes, and more. This keeps the air temperature even and comfortable throughout sweltering summers and frigid winters, and prevents condensation and mold issues.
  • No Thermal Bridge

    Thermal bridging is the movement of heat across a conductive material; in this case, the exterior wall. This is due to the law of physics called conduction, in which energy flows from warmer to colder areas.

    Normally, this thermal bridge would be caused by heat escaping through the more conductive wood studs in an apartment or house, but using a consistent, high quality thermal envelope that is durable and robust can prevent this heat loss.

  • Mechanical Heat Recovery

    An efficient, silent, and balanced Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV) removes stale, humid air and delivers fresh air all without ducts, which enables the airtight construction. This allows the ERV to filter out water vapor and recover warm air that may have escaped into cooler air.

The Benefits of
Passive House

Passive House - Excellent Air Quality

Excellent Air Quality

Passive House - Even Temperature Distribution

Even Temperature Distribution

Passive House - Reduced Heating and Cooling Costs

Lower Utility Bills

Passive House - Low Noise Levels

Reduced Noise Levels

Passive House Fun Facts
Energy use in commercial and residential buildings (primarily from heating and cooling) is the largest source of Greenhouse Gas emissions in the United States.
The first home in the U.S. built to Passive House standards was completed by Katrin Klingenberg in 2003 in Urbana, Illinois.
Passive House buildings are up to 90% more energy efficient and perform the same functions as traditional buildings, due to design and construction.
The average American spends approximately 90% of their time indoors.
10 tea lights, or the body heat from 4 people, could keep a 215 square-foot Passive House room warm, even in the coldest climate.
The Passive House Standard is now found in more than 40 countries.

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