UPDATED 3/22/2011: New photo added.
On March 26, when it convenes its inaugural regional meeting, Passive House Northwest, a group of certified Passive House consultants and others interested in energy efficient construction, will dig into many of the technical issues relevant to the standard and its potential applications in the Northwest. And in an opening address, Katrin Klingenberg, director of the Passive House Institute U.S., will present a strategic view of Passive House adoption throughout the country.
The meeting is timely, because Passive House construction in the Northwest, while still pretty much in its incipiency, has a big toe in the water. One of Washington state’s first such projects, for example, is a single-family home under construction in Seattle’s Rainier Valley neighborhood. It is being built to the standard by Dan Whitmore, principal of Blackbird Builders LLC and one of the certified consultants in Passive House Northwest.
In the ground and going up
The Rainier Valley project got underway with groundbreaking on January 9, and now the walls are up. When completed, the two-story home will feature 2,200 sq. ft. of living space and will be a candidate for Passive House certification. (Click here to read blog posts about the home’s construction and view layout drawings and exterior elevations.)
Whitmore lives next door to the job site, in fact, so he is closely supervising construction of the house, which fans of the project have tentatively named Foamhenge. But he is not the only one closely tracking its progress. A Seattle-based team of filmmakers and building professionals has been filming construction work and interviews with homeowners, designers, homebuilders, craftspeople, manufacturers, and consultants involved in “deep green” projects, including Whitmore’s. The team plans to eventually assemble a 13-episode series on deep green homebuilding, called “The House That Saved the World.” Click here for clips featuring Whitmore’s project and other “Saved the World” features.