Single Family Home, Wolfe Island, Ontario

Project Overview

This 3-bedroom Passive House is being constructed on Wolfe Island, a 20 minute ferry ride from downtown Kingston, Ontario, and was designed by local architect Mikaela Hughes, who attended CanPHI’s Passive House design course in 2011, but hadn’t yet had the chance to work on a full Passive House. The clients wanted an ecological house to replace their drafty, poorly insulated old home on the island. The building site (next to the existing house) offered good solar gains and the decision to aim at the highest standards – all the way to Passive House performance – was quickly established as a design priority. Other standards (eg LEED) were also considered, but they offered no practical benefits in terms of comfort and energy performance.

Originally a SIP panel approach was considered, but the clients decided to use imported CLT and wood fibre board, as supplied from Germany by Construction Maison Passive Inc. of Wakefield, QC. This company supplied all parts of the thermal envelope, including the custom superinsulated foundation tray, and Passive House-Certified solid wood windows from Optiwin, Austria.

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As shown in the time-lapse video, construction of the building shell took under 3 days, with all interior walls and ceilings already finished, and most of the air sealing complete. Exterior insulation is thick wood fibre board, with the base layer 240mm in thickness (10″), the upper 40mm. This translates to a highly simplified construction process, with just 3 layers in the wall -compared to many highly insulated houses, which can have 8 to 10 layers. Completion is scheduled for Fall 2016.

For more information and details on this project see the client’s ongoing blog:

Annual Heating Cost

$176 / yr*

* 2071 kWh per year at 8 cents/kWh Ontario off-peak residential rate, with no night setback. Passive Houses can always use off-peak power for heating, due to their exceptionally long time constants (i.e. slow rate of cooling)

See Building Performance Data

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See Construction Details

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See Design & Construction Team

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