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 Buildings and the U.N. Report on Climate Change

Green Buildings and Climate Change

By now, you’ve probably heard about the United Nations’ latest report on climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is calling for immediate and comprehensive reductions in global emissions to avert the climate disaster we will otherwise face in the next two decades. (Because climate science denial leads to irreparable harm, we encourage you to educate yourself on this topic using reputable sources. This article from The New York Times is a place to start.)

At Peckham Architecture, we feel a personal responsibility to take action. According to the United Nations, buildings consume about 40 percent of global energy and produce nearly a third of greenhouse gas emissions. Green buildings are essential for stemming the rise of global temperatures.

Here’s one example—Peckham Architecture’s LEED Platinum, net-positive home headquarters. It is Missouri’s first Passive House Institute US (PHIUS) Certified building, designed to be the greenest house on earth:

Green Buildings: Our Part of the Solution to Climate Change

There’s no way around it—human action is the only solution to climate change. Cities play a central role, and green buildings and energy-saving retrofits could make a massive impact.

Here’s some hopeful news: At the 2015 climate summit in Paris, mayors from 96 cities agreed to implement carbon budgets that would help limit rising temperatures. Emissions in 27 of those C40 Cities have already peaked. This article from Curbed is full of resources on the challenge these cities have taken on.

For our part, Peckham Architecture designs buildings as energy efficient as science allows. Our deep green building practices create eco-friendly homes and businesses with net-positive energy. This means our green buildings produce more electricity than they consume!

Our Green Building Series shows how we achieve such extraordinary efficiency. Here’s Episode 1: How a Passive House Can Fight Global Warming.

Take Action

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 design, consulting 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: An Environmentally Conscious Cat Café in Columbia, Missouri:

Columbia’s Cat Café Goes Green

Passive House Insulation for Peak Energy Efficiency: SIPs

Peckham Architecture’s LEED Platinum home headquarters is Missouri’s first Passive House Institute US (PHIUS) Certified building. Our eco house is also net-positive energy, which means it produces more electricity than it consumes! We could not have achieved this level of energy efficiency without super insulation.

In addition to insulating the concrete slab foundation, we used structural insulated panels, or SIPs. Here are a few of our structural insulated panels on the job site:

It’s not enough just to use green building materials—we also source them locally as often as possible. The structural insulated panels for this green building came from Thermocore of Missouri, located just 40 miles from Columbia in Taos, Missouri.

Thermocore’s SIPs contain injected polyurethane foam insulation with a Class A Fire Rating. In addition to providing superior and fireproof insulation, injected polyurethane is incredibly dense, strong and moisture resistant. A closed cell gasket seals the gaps between the SIPs so no heat or air escapes.

This airtight method of insulation maximizes energy efficiency and makes the most of our green energy array, which includes solar panels, LED lights, ERV (energy recovery ventilation), a tankless water heater and Energy Star appliances.

Learn more and watch our SIPs come together in Episode 4 of our Green Building Series:

Planning a remodel or custom home? Peckham Architecture incorporates deep green building techniques into every project to suit your budget. We offer prospective clients a FREE initial meeting of up to one hour.

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

PREVIOUSLY: How we minimized the environmental impact of our concrete slab foundation:

How to Reduce Carbon Footprint & Maximize Energy Efficiency with a Concrete Slab Foundation