Our Passive House

Brainstorming – Ways to Keep Cost Down

Posted in affordability,passive house,zero energy house by Elizabeth on April 20, 2010
  • less than 1500 square feet
  • two bedrooms, living room, kitchen/dining combined, one smallish office/extra room, one bathroom instead of two
  • no garage
  • Note the focus from ecolab of “designing delightful and energy-efficient buildings to especially serve low- to middle-income families, providing them with safe, affordable, and environmentally healthy homes.” See Smith House (1200 sq ft) and Fairview House (1300 sq ft) in Illinois.

Day Two of Passive House Planning

Posted in affordability,passive house by Elizabeth on April 20, 2010

Well. So much to learn! I’ve spent the day looking around on the web at passive houses and organizations and people trying to get a sense of things. I think our most ideal goal would be to build a 1500 sq. foot house (enough for two grown ups, two children, six cats and a dog) for $200,000 total, turn key. I know – I know. Crazy, right?! So idealistic!??! It will cost so much more!

Well, for me, that is part of the challenge. First, we can’t afford more (if we can even afford that), so it isn’t like we could pay more if we wanted to. Second, most people can’t afford more and I think the idea is that people should be able to build these. And not have them be super-small industrial looking things. So it will be part of the challenge.

Which leads me to some thinking about the look. It doesn’t have to look like a log cabin of course, but I also feel like it is important for it not to look like an industrial sort of building. Clean lines. Simple. Yet warm.

So that is the thinking after day two of planning. Our dream is to settle near Yellow Springs, Ohio (we need to be offered jobs there first, which we think we might be – and hope to know by June). And, lo and behold there is a company in Yellow Springs just now completing their first passive house. I’ve added links in the blog roles to the right. So they know how to do it! Which was one of our concerns all along – finding the right people to manage it so we don’t have to be the general contractor which I would so not enjoy. Onward!