Single Family Passive House, Okatoks, Alberta

Project Overview

This project is expected to be the first Certified Passive House in this region, and it started out with a primary requirement for a healthy building by the owners – a young Alberta family who are very aware of and cautious about toxicity in common building materials. Distance from power lines made it a simple decision to go off-grid right from the start, and this drove the requirement for extremely high energy efficiency in the building shell, so it only made sense to build all the way to the Passive House Standard. The building is located in the Alberta prairies South of Calgary with a spectacular view of the Rocky Mountains to the West. Capturing that view required larger windows on the west side than found in most Passive Houses, but significant overhangs and deep window reveals reduce the risk of summer overheating via these windows.

The house has a useable floor area (TFA) of 1776 sft, 4 bedrooms, an attractive open-plan layout on the main floor and a small meditation room. It also has an insulated attached garage/workshop. The building is wrapped with a porch roof for protection and summer shading. The building shell is entirely made out of sustainably sourced wood products – CLT and wood fibre board. The CLT functions as structure, vapor retarder, airtight layer, electrical layer and finish layer (it was ordered as finish grade) in one. The complete building and garage structure was assembled by the owners themselves in about 5 days. The building is powered entirely with PV panels and incorporates a rainwater collection system.

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Annual Heating Cost

$153 / yr*

* 1905 kWh heating energy per year, would cost 8 cents/kWh local rate BUT this house is off grid, so power is generated on site via PV/solar thermal at no fuel cost

See Building Performance Data

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See Construction Details

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See Design & Construction Team

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