Posted on June 27, 2014 by Scott Gibson
Work should be wrapped up this fall on a 1,895-square-foot home in Fort St. John, British Columbia, that is on track to become Canada's most northern 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. residence.
Fort St. John, a 16-hour, 760-mile drive northeast from Vancouver, British Columbia, was established as a trading post in the late 18th century, and it still sees plenty of people traveling through on the Alaska Highway. These days, Fort St. John calls itself "The Energetic City," reflecting the region's rich natural resources of oil, gas, and forestry.