Passive house May 18,2017 | By Paul Johnson | Living Urban

Passive Homes of Portland

Anyone familiar with the lush city of Portland knows that the community loves to keep it green. Outdoorsy residents of Portland neighborhoods keen on parks and green spaces.

Therefore, the city has taken steps to cut down on carbon emissions. They do this by encouraging bike traffic. Additionally, they offer a truly stellar mass transit system.

Housing hasn’t always been the most eco-friendly. However, Portland modern homes are being built with green amenities in mind.

LEED-certified structures in and around the city are abounding. Yet, the stringent standards for this construction can be daunting for the average homeowner.

Perhaps this is why more and more are turning to the Passive House mentality. What is a Passive House? How is it affecting Portland condos, lofts, and homes?

Here’s what you should know.

What is Passive House?

This movement in energy-efficient homes started in Germany as Passivhaus. It is characterized by structures that strive for net-zero emissions standards.

According to Passive House Institute U.S. (PHIUS), homes must utilize 86% less energy for heating. Additionally, they need to make use of 46% less for cooling in order to meet building standards.

How Do Homes Meet Passive Standards?

There are several ways to build Portland lofts and houses to meet Passive House standards for energy efficiency. The effect is mostly accomplished through a combination of insulation and ventilation. Both help to maintain set interior temperatures. This causes far less energy consumption.

For example, many Passive homes utilize heat recovery ventilation. This uses already warm, outgoing interior air. The heat incoming fresh air from a colder exterior climate reduces the need for electrical or gas heating.

An airtight structure is also a hallmark of the Passive House mentality. This might dismay some Portland residents, who fear mold in their wet climate. However, this is accounted for. It’s combated by limited temperature variation and proper ventilation.

Where Can I Find a Passive House in Portland?

This is the good news. For starters, more and more Passive homes are being built in and around Portland. They provide green options for eco-conscious residents, as well as financial savings.

In addition, there are several builders who offer Passive House services. In other words, you can contract with them. They will build the energy-efficient home of your dreams from the ground up.

Portland has been at the forefront of the Passive House movement in the U.S. As a result, residents have more opportunities than the average American to take advantage of this eco-friendly building trend.

Photo credit: Hammer & Hand