The Mini-B, a small passive house | Joseph Giampietro
The Mini-B is a small prototype dwelling intended to demonstrate that building to the Passive House standard is achievable and affordable in the U.S. Pacific Northwest, and will result in comfortable, energy efficient homes.
The Passive House standard (Passivhaus in German) is a voluntary standard for energy efficient buildings developed by German and Swedish researchers. As described by the International Passive House Association:
A Passive House combines high-level comfort with very low energy consumption. Passive components like thermal windows, insulation and heat recovery are the key elements. A passive house doesn’t need to be heated actively, because it essentially uses passive heat gains to heat itself. The heat stays inside.
Passive heat refers to passive solar heat gain as well as the heat given off by occupants and appliances.
The Mini-B achieves the Passive House standard by, among other things, using high-performance windows, eliminating air leaks in the building envelope, heating water with a solar collector, and using a heat recovery ventilation system to bring in fresh air while recovering heat from the exhaust air. The Mini-B also has a very high level of insulation. There is 3.5″ of fiberglass in the walls and then the whole structure is wrapped in 9″ of EPS foam.
The Mini-B is a studio dwelling with a loft for sleeping. Architect Joseph Giampietro designed the Mini-B to meet the City of Seattle requirements for a detached accessory dwelling unit, a small dwelling built in the backyard of an existing house.
Although only roughly 300 ft2 (29 m2), the high ceilings make it feel larger. The kitchen is compact but functional with a two-burner stove, a microwave and an under-counter fridge.
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The Mini-B shown here was built by students of the Seattle Central Community College Wood Construction Center under the guidance of instructor Frank Mestemacher. Photographs courtesy of Mini-B Passive House.
Text copyright 2012 SmallHouseBliss. All Rights Reserved.
Very nice design, now all we need is to remove the wood and replace it with extra thermal mass.
Is the wood necessary …surely this design could achieve a sound engineered structure with a concrete/fibreglass 5 mm coating ???
Reblogged this on astonishingcosmos.
Recent concerns have been raised about the brominated flame retardant HBCD (hexabromocyclododecane for the organic chemists among us)—see our coverage in EBN about this—that is found in all polystyrene insulation, both extruded (XPS) and expanded (EPS). HBCD may not (yet) be a household word like bisphenol-A has become, but it’s been raising plenty of concern. There is now enough evidence that HBCD is hazardous to both human health and the environment that European agencies are moving to restrict its use. Based on this concern—along with better-understood concerns about the primary constituents of polystyrene plastic (benzene and styrene especially)—EBN now recommends that XPS and EPS should be avoided as long as doing so will not compromise energy performance
Reblogged this on silvermountainproject.