Couple Builds Energy Efficient Passive Solar Home
Hey, everyone is danielle from exploring alternatives. As you know, we usually share stories about people living in really small spaces like tiny houses and vans and sailboats. In this video, though, we’re, going to show you this massive house, it’s 4,000 square feet, and you might be wondering how is this alternative? Well, it was designed and built using sustainable materials and cutting-edge technologies that could be applied to a house of any size and that’s.
Why? We think it’s, really cool it’s, also fossil fuel free. So there are no fossil fuels being used to power or heat this house, and it’s. Also a passive house and Natasha and Casey who built and live in this home will be explaining more about what passive house means.
So let’s, go inside and meet them and talk about their house and their conscious living project, [, Music ]. We want to build something that we were proud of and that we felt good about that. We felt was doing our part and living the way we like to live, which is a preventative lifestyle, started doing research on Passivhaus and that’s.
When I decided that was direction, we wanted to go in terms of performance and then everything else, just kind of fell into place in terms of materials and just being in line with what we believe. The best way to get to passive house standards is through a super-insulated a envelope, a extremely airtight home and orientation.
So then you orient your house so that you can maximize the sun exposure. It’s, a building standard that’s focused on energy consumption. This whole back of the house is facing directly south, so this house is designed for a passive house standards and the idea is that we get the solar heat gain from the Sun, so we have overhangs outside that block the Sun in the summer when the Sun Is nice and high, and in the winter when it starts to drop, then it drops below the overhang and we get all the heat from the south and this glass on the south side has a higher solar heat gain coefficient than the rest of the glass, and So what it does is allows the heat to come in lower our value, but gives us that heat when the Sun is out.
This is our bio ethanol fireplace. This is how we fill it. Basically, we wanted bio ethanol because it doesn’t need to be vented. Bio ethanol now actually burns extremely clean and odorless, so it does start off and visible and it takes about ten minutes.
And then the flame will really show up the code built house, which is basically the worst house that you & # 39. Re allowed to build by law is really the most expensive house to own long run, because once you factor in all of your utility costs and and maintenance and things that you’re gonna have to down the road it’s.
It ends up being the most expensive home because utility costs are not going down in twenty years. From now. What’s? That house gonna be costing somebody it’s gonna be a mortgage payment to heat and cool that house.
It’s cheaper to do it sooner than it is to do it later. This is a model of our whole wall assembly and we chose to go with rocks all insulation, so this is about 20 inches, whereas typical walls nowadays will be about six to eight and depending on what you’re.
Putting on it – and we chose to go with rocks all also, instead of fiberglass rock cells more expensive, but it’s. Also, it’s. It’s better for the environment. It was actually manufactured close to where we are, and it also has less pollutants in it.
So this here is called a drain: water heat recovery, and what this does is that it takes the water from your shower. In this case, we have it installed below our ensuite shower and as the hot water goes down, the drain, which is just lost energy.
Basically, the water goes down the drain, and then you have a cold water line that runs through this pipe. You can see top and bottom there’s, an inlet and outlet, and the cold water goes around the pipe as the hot water is going down.
So the cold water gets preheated and you can set it up one of two ways: you can either set it up so that you preheat the cold water going to your shower, so you use less hot water or you preheat, the cold water, going to your hot Water tank, so you don’t have to heat up as much water after either way.
It does the same thing and it it’s a way to just not lose all that hot water going down your drain. If you have about four or five kids, this is probably the same. A lot of money. Well, the conscious builder only recently came in so it’s.
Part of this whole conscious group of companies that we’re building, so the conscious builder. We have this podcast that Natasha and I do the conscious living podcast. We’re starting an online store called the conscious store which is going to sell environmentally friendly and health-conscious products.
People understand what conscious means means it awake. You know being aware so being aware of the decision. So when you decide to put to build a certain way or to use a certain product, you’re, aware of all the implications that that product has so it can be anything from where the product comes from to how the products mate, how the Workers are treated so this is a cut out of our window.
It’s, actually aluminum, clad on the outside and fiberglass on the inside, with insulated frames, triple-glazed, obviously, and our part of our windows. Depending on where you go in our house. We have some windows that are triple glazed with Krypton gas and some that are triple glazed with argon gas.
So a big part of a passive house is that it obviously needs to be extremely airtight. So if anybody ever says all you need your walls to breathe. Yes, you need your walls to breathe in the sense that you want vapor to be able to travel through it, but you, don’t want air to be able to travel through it.
So you want your house to be as tight as possible and you want to mechanically control the air coming and going through your house. So this is what we put in. Are you we have to air for hota units as these run 24/7, so it’s, constantly bringing fresh air into our house and constantly getting rid of stale air from our house and as it’s doing that filtering the air? So we have fresh air and we’re, only losing 8 percent of the energy, so that means these are 92 percent efficient.
So this huge thing is our hot water tank. It’s, actually an ADA gal hot water tank, but once again, because we’re fossil fuel free, we had to figure out the most efficient way to heat our water, and we found this air source heat pump.
Cool thing about this is that it’s, an air source heat pump, so it takes the hot air from the room and heats the water, so it’s more efficient, but in the summer it actually helps cool the house as well.
In the winter, what we’ll do is we’ll turn off the heat pump, part of it and we’ll just run full electric, so it’ll just be an element just like every other electric Tank, so yes, we use more electricity in the winter, but it’s offset by the savings in the summer.
So this here is the inverter for our solar panel system. We have 10 kilowatt system and we’re part of the micro fit program here in Ontario, so the cool thing about that is that we just sell electricity back to the grid.
We’re, not off the grid and we’re, not using any electricity directly from our solar panels, so we actually basically turned our our roof into a rental unit. So, where this all started for me was or it hit me is when we had Sullivan that’s when it hit me that it’s, not just about you, it’s about leaving this earth better than it was.
I started thinking about what we can do we live. What can we do to change? What can we change it in the business and then you started thinking about all everything that I see on the job sites and all the stuff that we throw out and all the stuff we put into the houses – and you know just from off, gassing from the Vocs from different products and laminate products – countertops, we put all the money at this point into the envelope of our home because it’s, a lot harder to change that than it is to change to change the aesthetics.
If we wanted to do it later, it’s, a concrete countertop with an epoxy finish. So it’s done about an hour away. It’s, better than stone being cut out of the side of a mountain and shipped overseas and cut again and polished, and all that so as a obviously concrete’s, not the best for the environment either.
But it was the better option for us at this point. The floors are all for most farther than the few spots. Real fine tile is all reclaimed wood and the nice thing about the reclaimed. Wood. First of all, we’re, not cutting down any trees.
To put this, it’s, all trees that are already down anyways. We have the podcast called the conscious living podcast and then kids with Casey’s, listen Tasha! The website is Casey Plus Natasha comm. It gives us the opportunity to reach out to people who inspire us and learn from them and figure out how they got from where they were to where they are now really.
What we want to do is just provide a platform to empower people and educate people and inspire people in all facets of life. One of the things that Casey – and I always say, is lead by example, and we try to preach it and to ourselves.
We are still training ourselves literally to to shop differently, for example, so we don’t necessarily buy brand new. We’re, not into this whole. What is it called fast fashion? We’re literally. Products are just you know, turned over within like weeks, so we buy a lot of second hand and consignment and and the food that we eat.
We try to eat, you know locally and organic. So we’re, not you know, inducing our bodies with chemicals, so we’re. Try to really apply this lead by example, to all facets of our life, and we’re, not perfect, either right and it’s in, like I said it’s, a daily practice.
We all we can do is the best we can do so that’s it. I hope you enjoyed learning more about these Green Building Technologies and sustainable materials. Give this video a thumbs up if you liked it and subscribe to see more like it.