Bernard Proulx built this Passive House for his son in 2016. Can you tell by looking at it that there is no furnace and it relies almost entirely on the sun for heating even on the coldest days? A 2 kw electric fireplace is available for extra heat if needed.
“While doing research for my son and daughter-in-law who were looking into building a house, I came upon the passive homes. I registered for a course offered in Ottawa. After that course, I decided right there and then that I would never build a house any other way again. Passive houses are the way to go. I built this house for my son in 2016 and a second house in 2019,” Bernard says.
A Passive House requires very little energy: up to 90% less for heating and cooling. “What you pay more for insulation, you save in not installing a home heating/cooling system. The payback is immediate by replacing large heating and cooling equipment with small systems (about the output of a hairdryer),” Bernard says. The cost of heating and cooling is about 1/10 the of the cost in a conventional house.
Zero carbon emissions once the house is built, low power usage, and natural heating and cooling are some of the ways the home is more sustainable. It is also very comfortable with very little temperature variations in the house.
Building? Passive House Canada offers training in Passive House design and construction. Available certifications for energy efficiency and sustainability include Living Building Challenge, Zero Carbon Building Standard, Passive House certification, LEED certification, and energy certified and energy star homes. Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation offers a refund of up to 25% on the CMHC mortgage loan insurance premium when you buy or build an energy-efficient home, or you buy an existing home and make energy-saving renovations.