Author Archives: jonah

VOLKsHouse = Passive House

Introducing the VOLKsHouse SUSTAINABLE HOUSE BREAKS THE COST BARRIER VOLKsHouse is a response to America’s overuse of energy resources and the typically higher cost of green construction. Based on energy-conserving Passive House technology, it was built to prove that eco-construction … Continue reading

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Site Selection for VOLKsHouse

Once Santa Fe was selected as the location for the VolksHouse a search for property began. The Ferguson Lane parcel had many extremely favorable characteristics that made it immediately attractive. Orientation:  Though perfect solar orientation is not required for Passive … Continue reading

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VOLKsHouse data

The VolksHouse contains three bed rooms, 2 baths, and has 1,650 sqft of conditioned space. The main hub of the mechanical systems resides in a simple “mud room” between the two car garage and main house. System Design comment: A primary … Continue reading

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Foundation Insulation #1 – Frost Skirt

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Foundation #2 – Under Slab Insulation

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Foundation #3 – Slab insulation detail

       The lower photo shows a typical detail at thickened slab sections designed to carry bearing walls. The perimeter “foundation” is only 8″ thick with the rest of the slab being 4″. On the Volks House we found … Continue reading

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Framing #1

The framing for the Volks House is fairly typical, we follow standard practice for reducing material because of cost, thermal bridge reduction, and resource efficiency by framing with 2-stud corners, headers on only bearing walls, etc. But the rest is … Continue reading

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Framing #2 – thermal Isolation – Passive house / Passivhaus

As discussed before regarding thermal bridge isolation, the Volks House has an attached two car garage. We do not want any of the garage structure’ (that resides outside the  thermal envelope) to penetrate the thermal envelope of the House.  For … Continue reading

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Framing #3 – Airtight Layer

The exterior of the structural framing receives the structural sheeting that also acts as our air-tight layer.  In this case we used Zip-Panels and could not have been more happy with the result. The surface is extremely stable, easy to … Continue reading

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Air-Barrier #1 windows

We decided to install the Optiwin windows flush with the outside of the air-barrior for the Volks house for ease of installation and simplicities sake. The are not perfectly aligned with the cent of the thermal envelope, however are fairly … Continue reading

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