New Passive Building Residence designed for 2329 Walters in Northbrook

  • Rendering of New Construction at 2329 Walters Northbrook Illinois

    Rendering of New Construction at 2329 Walters Northbrook Illinois Courtesy of Hernando Moreno

 
 
Updated 8/18/2022 10:02 AM

Coming soon to Walters Avenue a new Residence built to Passive Building Principles. Passive Building is the way we will achieve a lower energy future. It is a building strategy that focuses on using many natural green construction principles. What are the principles of a passive building?

We start out with a super-insulated building Shell - A "GREENSHELL." Essentially a walk-in cooler. The walls are R40 instead of code R2O. Ceiling Insulation is R60 instead of R38. Windows are R7 instead of R3. windows are Triple gasketed with multipoint locking mechanisms. And surprisingly cost no more than Standard windows. Then there is obsessive attention to quality detailing regarding air tightness. No place for energy to leak out. Tapes at seams. Air barriers inside walls. Tapes and caulk to make continuous air barriers at windows and doors. Once the building is this tight the occupants are provided an always-on air filtration system that provides Fresh air from the outside. At all times there is excellent healthy air. Allergy sufferers say Yay!

 

With so little Energy leaking Passive Buildings need much much smaller Heating and cooling systems. Passive Buildings use 90% less energy than current buildings.

Design-wise Large Glass areas are used to provide Solar generated heat in winter.

Design-wise attention is paid to instances of Thermal bridging. Wherever there may be a conduit for Energy to transfer a "Thermal Break" is used.

This is the way we should be building.

Why do you want a Passive Building?

The most beloved benefit is the filtered air that a passive building uses. The Mirv Filter can filter out everything. Off Gassing from internal contaminants. Allergens from outside Contaminants. 24/7 Fresh air for your family to breathe never any stale air. Comfort. The temperature is held constant at all places in the home. You can walk around barefoot and the temperature on the floor is still close to the temperature at your head. There are no drafts. Even standing next to a window which typically causes drafts there are none in a passive building. Quiet. All that insulation and Airtight Detailing means sound cannot travel. There is peace and quiet in your home. The noise of the outside world stays outside. And of course, Energy Savings. At a 90 % reduction in Energy use, you will barely have Energy Bills.

Does it cost more? And here is the crazy thing. It's not much more cost-wise than the standard waste-full way of construction. Studies in Europe now say a small residential project costs about 3% to 5%. U.S. studies place it at 5% to 8%. The larger the project the cost disappears. Because the perimeter is where the costs are. Let's build with good bones. Let's mandate that we must build with "seat belts." We don't drive cars without them. We don't build wastefully.

The design of the Walters project is by Chicago Workshop Architects. They have been on the North Shore for 25 years. The Construction will be executed by GREENSHELL. They have been practicing Green Building techniques for the last 12 years.

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