Airtight Building Design: How our Passive House Aced the Blower Door Test

Airtight Building Design Keeps Drafts Out

Chilly winter drafts make December the perfect time to talk about airtight building design and energy efficiency. Peckham Architecture’s LEED Platinum home headquarters is sealed and insulated to the point of being airtight. Episode 7 of our Green Building series shows the phenomenal results our passive house achieved in a blower door test. This test detects and measures air leaks as part of an energy audit, which evaluates a building’s energy efficiency. Even with one exterior door standing open, our headquarters is the most airtight building in the city of Columbia!

Here’s how it works:

Elements of Airtight Building Design

As we have shared previously in our Green Building series, we achieved airtightness using structural insulated panels, recycled blown in insulation and liquid house wrap. Together with solar panels, ductless heating and cooling and other sustainable features, these green building materials make our passive house net-positive. This means that our headquarters produces more electricity than it consumes. Energy efficient design matters—green buildings like this one are essential for cutting greenhouse gas emissions and stemming the rise of global temperatures.

Ventilating an Airtight Green Building

Airtight building design poses unique ventilation challenges. The Zehnder HRV system in our passive house was custom designed for the needs of this building. The HRV (Heat Recovery Ventilation) system replaces the stale, humid indoor air with fresh air from outside. Inside the energy recovery core, energy from the “old” air heats the incoming “new” air to nearly the same temperature before distributing it in the home. This creates constant indoor climate stability.

Learn more about our ductless, energy efficient heating and cooling system here.

Buildings as Green as Science Allows

Join Peckham Architecture in our mission to be part of the solution to climate change. If you’re considering a new construction, renovation or historic preservation project, make it as green as possible. We can help—get in touch to discuss your project and learn about our architectural designconsulting and planning services.

Peckham Architecture offers prospective clients a free initial meeting of up to 1 hour.

Contact us today to see what’s possible: 573-777-4444

PREVIOUSLY: Green Buildings and the U.N. Report on Climate Change

Green Buildings and the U.N. Report on Climate Change

Green Building Episode 11: How to Install Solar Panels on a Standing Seam Metal Roof

This short film is the final episode in Peckham Architecture’s 11-part documentary series on how to construct a green building for energy efficiency and reduced carbon footprint. This episode shows the completion of Peckham Architecture’s LEED Certified home headquarters and the installation of solar panels on our standing seam metal roof.

Thanks to our photovoltaic system, super insulation, LED lighting, ERV (energy recovery ventilation), an instant hot water heater and Energy Star appliances, this green building is net-positive, which means it produces more energy than it consumes. During May 2016—our first month of occupancy and the warmest May on record—our building produced so much electricity that we received a $179 credit on our bill.

This project is Missouri’s first Passive House Institute US (PHIUS) Certified building. It has also been featured in the Columbia Business Times and Columbia Missourian.

To get ideas or start your own green building project, contact us today.

 

More from our eco house: 

Green Building Episode 10: How to Create a Certified Wildlife Area Using Sustainable Landscaping

Green Building Episode 7: How our Passive House Aced the Blower Door Test

This short film is Episode 7 of Peckham Architecture’s 11-part documentary series on how to construct a green building for energy efficiency and a lower carbon footprint. This episode shows the phenomenal results our passive house achieved in a blower door test, one part of an energy audit to assess energy efficiency. Even with one exterior door standing open, our eco house is the most airtight building in the city of Columbia, Missouri—and possibly in the country.

Peckham Architecture’s LEED Platinum home headquarters is Missouri’s first Passive House Institute US (PHIUS) Certified building. We used structural insulated panels, recycled blown in insulation for walls and ceilings and liquid house wrap to make our eco house airtight. These green building materials work together with solar panels, LED lights, HRV (heat recovery ventilation), a tankless water heater and Energy Star appliances to make our passive house net-positive, which means that it produces more electricity than it consumes.

Our passive house has also been featured in the Columbia Business Times and Columbia Missourian.

To learn more or start your own green building project, contact us today.

 

More from this project: 

Green Building Episode 6: How HRV and Mini Split Systems Save Energy

Green Building Episode 8: Sustainable Hardwood Flooring, Cork Flooring and Porcelain Tile