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Passive House Days 2013 Photo Roundup

We had a fantastic time last weekend celebrating International Passive House Days 2013 with the open house on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. We estimated about 100 people in total stopped by to have a look, some thinking of renovations or looking for ideas for energy-efficient homes. We also had quite a few people who were already familiar with Passive Houses, mainly people with a European background. If you were one of those who made it, thanks for coming! If you couldn’t make it this time, maybe there will be another opportunity in the future…. Passive House Days 2014, perhaps?

Below are some images of the house during the weekend by our photographer friend Yesan Ham, unless noted otherwise. As you can see, the regular construction-progress posts are a little behind: doors and windows are installed, airsealing is complete, and interior framing is well underway. Hope to get back on those as soon as there’s a bit of free time.

Which reminds me: Friday, November 8 also marked the day of our preliminary airtightness test (“blower door test”). It was a great way to kick off the weekend, since initial results indicate an airtightness of 0.15 air changes per hour! (Recall the PH requirement is 0.6 ACH.) There’s still lots of work to do and some additional penetrations to install, but we’re confident a final score less than 0.3 ACH is definitely feasible. More on this in a future post!


Owners Jim & Emilie stand proudly in front of the house:



View from the main entry down toward the kitchen and exterior deck.



Jim demonstrates the quality of the Internorm windows…



Looking “through” the laundry closet between bedrooms.



Jim discusses the typical wall assembly:



The wall assembly mockup in detail:



A selection of airsealing tapes and other construction paraphernalia.



Nice windows!



Nice architecture…



A view of the dropped ceiling framing in the main floor bedroom/laundry.




Investigating the lone structural support in the basement that supports the main structural beam at midspan and minimizes any potential thermal bridging through the slab.



Another view of the basement.



Workshop and mechanical services room



The garage…



Looking back down the hallway towards the main entry…
(Photo by Emilie Zeibin)



Tetraptych of some of our visitors, including Fort Saskatchewan Mayor Gail Katchur.
(Photo by Emilie Zeibin)




Thanks again to all who stopped by. Great to meet you and good luck with your own Passive House/energy-efficient endeavours!


Previous: Our story: why we chose to build a Passive House          Next: Windows and Doors

7 responses to “Passive House Days 2013 Photo Roundup”

  1. Vapour Barriers are the most difficult area to understand for Passive House beginners and cause the fastest decline in what some thought was a perfect Envelope. Another problem is covering that investment with an Asphalt Roof.

  2. Marilynn says:

    Jim and Emile, thank you for providing such an informative site about your build. We are just starting to build our passive house in eastern Ontario, and like you, we have to be the pioneers of passive house in this area. Our builder is a brave man and said yes to our “crazy” request to help us build our overinsulated and tightly sealed house. I will be keeping a close eye on your website to learn from you as you go. Congratulations on the success you have had to date and may the building continue with relative ease.

  3. Tim Naugler says:

    Looks Great guy’s! so excited for you that’s it’s starting to come together. and soon you will be working in the warmth of a Passive House! Were you as impressed with the Inter norm windows as we were? what did you choose for Entrance doors?
    keep up the good work! and thanks for the nod!

  4. Jim Zeibin says:

    Sorry I haven’t replied, but we’ve been busy with Christmas and the house. The Internorm windows are fantastic and we don’t regret buying them. We went with Euroline entrance doors without windows. They look a bit like a refrigerator door, but seal fantastically. Have to get someone in to tune them as one of them is very hard to lock. Plan on doing this next week. We are in the warmth of our passive house as we install the drywall. When the sun comes out, it is shirt sleeve weather even when it is -30 outside. hopefully installing the HRV end of next week.

  5. Tim Naugler says:

    Thanks for the Reply Jim,
    Glad to hear about the EuroLine doors. we were going to shop around for our next project.
    I’m curious how time consuming you found your Rim Joist detail to be in the end? I’ve been contemplating something like this for our next build and would love to talk with you about the pro’s and con’s sometime!

  6. Jim Zeibin says:

    The rim joist seal went OK. It took me about an extra day just sealing it up and three times the tape. I did put tape on the plywood subfloor from the rim joist extending into the house, but when we lifted the walls, we damaged it and I’m not sure really how much value it really was. I can send you the details on what we ended up with. Peter Amerongen helped us with the details. We are way behind in our updates on the website, as we are busy with the finishing work. I will see if I can find the last revision of the rim joint and send it to you via e-mail.

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