What’s easy is caulking every seam in your home and wrapping the exterior in foam to make it airtight.
What’s easy is investing in high performance energy recovery ventilators to heat your home like never before (the 1970s).
Beyond what’s easy is modeling all the components of a home in a computer simulation so that you can know exactly how it will perform in any situation.
Latitude 38. Beyond what’s easy.
Latitude 38 has teamed up with John Semmelhack, owner of Think Little, to certify our most recent homes through the EarthCraft program. Getting our houses EarthCraft certified has provided Latitude 38 homeowners with the peace of mind that comes with knowing that an independent party has verified that they live in healthy, energy-efficient homes. But in the end we’ve still been left guessing about how certain design decisions will impact the energy performance of our homes.
No longer. Latitude has joined forces with John again to work on certifying our next project on 6th street to the Passive House standard. Meeting the Passive House standard, arguably the most stringent standard for home energy performance out there, requires careful planning and extensive computer modeling. I sat in on a meeting with John recently and watched as he tweaked various components of the home in the Passive House Planning Package. We increased the thickness of the walls and the overall energy performance didn’t change nearly as much as I expected. We replaced our usual windows with triple plane windows and watched our performance figures drop substantially, but at an additional cost that would likely take 20-30 years to payback in energy savings (though, it should be noted that high performance windows come with other benefits like increased comfort and reduced condensation). After watching John alter several variables and seeing how they influence overall energy use, it is all too obvious that designing a house that functions optimally takes very careful planning.
I’m proud to say that Latitude 38 won’t be shooting from the hip anymore, at least not when it comes to home energy performance. We owe it to our homeowners to build the best houses that we know how, and energy modeling will play an important role in living up to that obligation.