Building Envelope

Sizing and placing windows using the Passive House Planning Package

The availability of not just good, but great, windows and doors has posed one of the greatest challenges for the growing Passive House (PH) movement in North America. As designers, builders, and owners, we take such care to provide a continuous layer of insulation and an extremely high level of air-tightness in the envelope that we almost donʼt want to poke any holes in […]

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Insulation: Round One

A week ago the crew from Expert Insulation put dense pack cellulose insulation in the exterior cavities of our house. It was an exciting day, and both John and I were there to watch the first of the two-part insulation process. Exciting, you wonder? Well, when you consider that the heating and cooling comfort of […]

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Today the crisp smell of frost was in the air and activity at the house matched that energy!

Upstairs Jeff, JR and Troy got an early start placing sheathing. Chad and crew from Architectural Metal Systems installed scaffolding and started installing roof panels on the south side of the house by nine. Russell Larson, Larson […]

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Buttoning up for cold weather

There’s been a big push during the last week to get the roof finished so we’re ready for colder days ahead. Jeff, JR and Troy have hustled to get house framing done, breezeway trusses up, roof sheeting on and covered, and facia boards in place. Late Monday they nailed a product called Cor-A-Vent to carefully fitted […]

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House second floor takes shape

When I arrived yesterday afternoon, all but three house roof trusses were in place.  I walked inside the first floor and all the way around outside, then climbed the ladder to the second floor, feeling the spaces. I saw in 3D what I’d seen on paper so often and felt the height of ceilings, the […]

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Serious framing

Framing this house isn’t a quick job. It’s a puzzle with two layers: the exterior frame (going up now) and the interior frame, or Larsen truss, that will follow after insulation, vapor barriers and plywood are layered in to form the first floor. At the site yesterday it was clear to me that all […]

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Radon gas abatement

Site work was minimal this week; our excavators made a return visit to finish filling the house foundation with washed gravel—four inches is necessary for the radon abatement system. Before the floor insulation is installed, plumbers will dig a network of 4-inch perforated pipes into the gravel; this allows radon gas to escape through the […]

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Lanesboro, Minnesota
Climate Zone 6 (cold/moist)
Latitude: 43° 44' 18'' N
Longitude: 91° 54' 48'' W

House Size

Net Treated Floor Area: 1,514 SF
Gross Square Footage (House only): 2,210 SF

Building Envelope

Roof: R-99
Wall: R-61
Ground: R-53

Windows & Doors

Glazing: U-0.10 BTU / hour / sq. ft.
Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC): 0.48”
Frame: U-0.19 BTU / hour / sq. ft.

Modeled Performance

Specific Primary Energy Demand (Source Energy Demand): 12.1 kBTU / sq. ft. / year

Specific Space Heat Demand: 7.0 kBTU/sq. ft. / year

Peak Heating Load: 7,047 BTU / hour

Space Cooling Demand: 0.44 kBTU / sq. ft. / year

Peak Cooling Load: 3,625 BTU / hour

Pressure Test Goal: Whole House Air Changes Per Hour (ACH) = 0.4 ACH 50


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