Posted on February 8, 2016 by Scott Gibson
At first, the owners of the single-family home at 1102 Temperance Street simply requested the removal of an unwanted balcony.
But renovations often wander in unexpected directions, and by the time the dust settles sometime later this year, Jim Spinney and Holly Ann Knott should have the first certified PassivhausA residential building construction standard requiring very low levels of air leakage, very high levels of insulation, and windows with a very low U-factor. Developed in the early 1990s by Bo Adamson and Wolfgang Feist, the standard is now promoted by the Passivhaus Institut in Darmstadt, Germany. To meet the standard, a home must have an infiltration rate no greater than 0.60 AC/H @ 50 pascals, a maximum annual heating energy use of 15 kWh per square meter (4,755 Btu per square foot), a maximum annual cooling energy use of 15 kWh per square meter (1.39 kWh per square foot), and maximum source energy use for all purposes of 120 kWh per square meter (11.1 kWh per square foot). The standard recommends, but does not require, a maximum design heating load of 10 W per square meter and windows with a maximum U-factor of 0.14. The Passivhaus standard was developed for buildings in central and northern Europe; efforts are underway to clarify the best techniques to achieve the standard for buildings in hot climates. home in the province of Saskatchewan.
The owners of the 1940s house on Saskatoon's east side may have had more modest ambitions at the start, but they weren't counting on the extensive structural decay that their builder, Robin Adair, uncovered as he took the balcony apart.