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13 April 2011
Week 10 - Living in our PH
With spring around the corner and our older home deconstructed, we can now look to designing our yard. We are just waiting for the rain to stop for a couple of days so we won't sink into the mud/clay in our yard to start the process.
Posted by Kuglerhaus at 10:43 AM
01 April 2011
Week 8 of living in our PH
These last two weeks I have been busy with six presentations and a conference. I shared our experience building our PH and learned about other PH at the NW PH Conference in Olympia, WA.
Ethan Beck, Ted Nickell and I presented information on our PH at the NW PH Conference and later fielded questions. One person asked, "What would we have done differently so far living in our home?" The only thing that we have changed is the hard ducting in the mini basement. The hard ducting was echoing the fan noise in the metal and waking me up at night, also it was too loud during the day. So they replace five feet by the ERV and Panasonic fans with a soft duct and it has dramatically cut the sound. Today I can’t hear the fan noise at all. Since our basement is a heated space and not accessible from the outside, we found out that we didn’t need to put in the hard duct. This would have saved us money in both labor and materials to have the soft duct put in at the beginning.
It was nice to talk with people and have feed back and on our build. People were designing all styles of PH and the way they were figuring out ways to come within the PH program was interesting.
I have been asked why didn’t we just build a basement with extra living space. For those that don’t know about western Oregon area we receive a lot of rain and our water table is very high. This month we received 3.45”/6.2cm of rain, this was a lot even for Oregon. Most homes don’t have basements because they would just flood. So when they dug the foundation and the mini basement (3 feet / 91.4CM) they took precautions to prevent the mini basement from flooding. They dug a trench even deeper then the foundation and laid perforated pipe on the ground and on top of that placed gravel. This way water will drain easily and the pipes will divert the water away from the mini basement and house.
There was a discussion about the name Passive House at the PH Conference. I also feel that this is not the right name for this design of homes. Our home is not passive. We have a heat system and an air handling system so people are confused. Someone will ask if our home is a passive solar home? I have to respond no, but we do receive passive solar heat in the winter and we also have a heating system. Now the PH movement is growing it may be too late to change the name but something like Earth Resourcing Homes. Because these PH are about using as little energy resources from the plant as possible and so we don’t have to create new or more energy to power these PH/ERH.
I bet my neighbors are wondering about the school buses that have been coming to our home. They're from the environmental science classes and this educational unit they look at progressive ways to build homes and help our planet. I gave them a short power point presentation and they asked questions then they toured our home. They may be reading this so…Hello, Sunset Elementary School, Wood Middle School and West Linn High School students and staff. Remember students/staff you can always ask me questions and I will try to answer them or send you to another source and this goes for all my other readers as well.
I also went to Lincoln City, OR to tell them about PH or Earth Resourcing Homes and they were asking about retrofitting homes. I know that in Germany, homeowners can retrofit homes in several steps to come into PH standards. I will do a post about this later.
Posted by Kuglerhaus at 10:23 AM