Checking Back In with Solera Studios

ArchiCAD Solera Studios

Back in March of this year we brought you the story of a (pending certification) Passive House built in South Carolina. The post about David Bitter’s design and how he used ArchiCAD to manage the Passive House design, requirements and data received quite a bit of attention.

Passive House by Solera Studios

Passive House by Solera Studios

To refresh your memory, Passive House certified homes are built to the world’s most stringent energy standards and boast a reduction of annual heating and cooling energy consumption by an average of 80% – 90%. When we spoke to David Bitter he let us know that he relies on ArchiCAD to be certain his design uses as little energy as possible and have unparalleled comfort conditions and superior air quality – the hallmarks of Passive House design.

Though super insulated, and virtually air-tight, Passive House can claim superior air quality and comfort levels relative to traditionally built homes because all ventilation air is filtered of airborne pollutants (pollen, etc.) rather than being accidentally admitted through random pathways in building crevices. Additionally, the extremely low amount of conditioned air required for a Passive House means there is no longer the constant background sound of a forced air system at work.

At the time of the post, Bitter lamented over not having better photos to share with our readers. Since then, he has let us know that he contracted a photographer by the name of David Fisher from JandDImages, LLC and shared some updated images of the home.

So please enjoy this updated look at the German Passive House Cottage, designed in ArchiCAD by David Bitter of Solera Studios. David would also like us to acknowledge the rest of the team: Deb Tucker (Owner), Jeff Dinkle (Passive House Consultant), Bruce Kitchell (PHIUS+ Rater), Brandy Hall (Permaculture Designer) and William Ashley (Contractor)

Passive House by Solera Studios, photo courtesy of JandDImages

 

Passive House by Solera Studios, photo courtesy of JandDImages

Passive House by Solera Studios, photo courtesy of JandDImages

Passive House by Solera Studios, photo courtesy of JandDImages

 

5 Comments

  1. Joe Martin

    Beautiful project!
    Which windows and doors did you choose to achieve the stringent Passive House air infiltration rate of less than 0.6 ACH50?
    What was the actual measured ACH50 for the envelope?

    Thanks –
    Joe

    Reply
    • David Bitter -AIA, CPHC

      Joe,
      We used UPVC windows by Intus and got 3.6 ACH on the final blower door test.
      The local contractor (who had never done a Passive House) reported that the installation of the windows went very smoothly.
      Regards,
      David

      Reply
      • David Bitter -AIA, CPHC

        Joe,
        OOPS!! A big typo!! That was 0.36 on the blower door test (not 3.6).
        Did anybody notice (other than Rob Harrison) LOL….
        Regards,
        David

        Reply
  2. Peter

    David,

    What was the SHGC of the Intus Windows?Are most of the windows fixed or operable?

    Reply
    • David Bitter

      Peter,
      Glazing for the Intus UPVC windows is available with SHGC values ranging from .25 to .62. You should review the prescriptive & mandatory code requirements for the SHGC’s (guessing 2012 IECC requirements apply to your location)….the lower end of the range is prescribed. Of course, depending on orientation and shading factors varying the SHGC’s may be advantageous per energy modeling results.
      Most of the windows are operable.
      Regards,
      David

      Reply

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