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Green Building News

Forging Ties Between Pre-Design and Passivhaus

A Canadian company unveils a lineup of design packages for homes that implement Passivhaus concepts and can be built to achieve Passivhaus performance

Different takes on a Passivhaus theme. Fab-Homes’ Olympia II design, which includes conditioned space in the basement and offers a total of 2,400 sq. ft. It is by far the largest home in the company’s lineup.
Image Credit: Fab-Homes
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Different takes on a Passivhaus theme. Fab-Homes’ Olympia II design, which includes conditioned space in the basement and offers a total of 2,400 sq. ft. It is by far the largest home in the company’s lineup.
Image Credit: Fab-Homes
The Tyrol design package offers 1,800 sq. ft., 3 bedrooms, and 2.5 baths. Prospect, a 3-bedroom, 2-bath home with a total of 1,750 sq. ft. Ribbon: 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, and 1,800 sq. ft. Gardenhouse: 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, 1,800 sq. ft. Vista: 3 bedrooms, 1.5 baths, 1,700 sq. ft.

Fab-Homes, a design firm based in Vancouver, recently rolled out a series of design options for single-family homes that incorporate Passivhaus concepts and performance to varying degrees, depending on the size of the construction budget.

Contemporary styling prevails in each of Fab-Homes’ nine design packages and, even though clients can modify plans to add interior space and extra features, most of these homes are, by green standards, appropriately compact. The smallest, called the Olympia I, offers 1,400 sq. ft., while an expanded version of that design, the Olympia II, features a conditioned basement and a total of 2,400 sq. ft. The remaining designs deliver an average of 1,700 sq. ft.

Pricing and contractors

Company director Alex Maurer told GBA that a client may work with one of Fab-Homes’ builder partners in the U.S. or Canada, or with a contractor of the client’s choice. In the latter case, he says, “we would prefer working closely with the client’s contractor to ensure proper execution.”

Although the firm offers custom-design services, pricing for the fixed-design packages ranges from $8,000 to $16,000. Construction costs start at about $150 per square foot, depending on the location, builder fees, and energy efficiency goals. In a recent press release, Maurer points out that “for us, to achieve the German Passive House standard for every home is a goal, but not a requirement.” Options include a heat recovery ventilation system, triple-glazed windows, a rainwater harvesting and grey-water recycling system, solar power, and solar hot water. Each house is designed to accommodate PV and ground-source heat pump installations.

Maurer said that while Fab-Homes already has a few builder partners in various locations throughout the U.S., the company is working on extending its network. Any builder interested, he said, should contact the company. Contact information and background on the design options are available on the Fab-Homes website: http://www.fab-homes.com/

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