Saskatchewan Conservation House, 1977, in the Tyee
Monte Paulsen of the Tyee describes a house built in 1977 by the Saskatchewan Research Council:
It was built without a furnace. Instead, the northwest Regina home features a nearly airtight envelope with R-40 wall insulation and R-60 roof insulation. This enables a small hot water system to heat the house, even through the winter. The house is cube-shaped to expose a minimum amount of exterior surface area per square foot of floor space.
That sounds pretty much like our beloved Passivhaus, and for good reason.
The world would have forgotten the Saskatchewan house, too, were it not for a quirky German physicist interested in energy-saving buildings. After studying the Saskatchewan house and a handful of similar buildings, Dr. Wolfgang Feist wrote a mathematically precise -- and elegantly simple -- criterion for designing buildings that require less than a tenth of the energy of average buildings. He called it the Passivhaus standard.
Paulsen writes a terrific three part series on the Passivhaus, graciously quoting:
"Forget Energy Star and LEED," the influential blog TreeHugger declared last year, "Green building is Passivhaus."
Read more about Passivhaus in the Tyee:
Step Inside the Real Home of the Future: Passivhaus
Low-Energy Homes Mean Thousands of New Jobs
In Snowy Whistler, a House with No Furnace
More on Passivhaus:
A Passiv Haus in Urbana, Illinois
Bamboo Screens Shade Stunning French Passivhaus
A Picture Worth TEN Thousand Words: A Passivhaus in New York