Passive House Project: Pax Futura
Minimizing our Ecological Footprint through Energy-Efficient Construction
By Angel Calderon
At Value Windows & Doors, we are actively in search of ways to offer the best cost-to-performance to our customers. This involves being mindful of their project’s needs, while assessing which product will bring aggregate value. A decisive way we achieve this is by being able to offer a selection of energy efficient products; amongst the highest-performing available.
We are proud to introduce our European-inspired product line to the North American market; Eurotek Windows & Doors. Thermal efficiency, paired with robust steel-reinforced vinyl framing, provide emphasis to both function and design. These products are manufactured to very high standards, which make them a perfect fit; whether the project is a multi-level commercial building, or a single/multifamily residence.
We have now established a relationship with NK Architects, as well as Cascade Built, through our working together for a first-of-it’s kind construction in Seattle, Washington; Pax Futura. These architectural and construction firms are very involved in this type of construction movement, having raised multiple buildings which meet Passive House certification.
Figure 1- The dark colors on this thermogram of a Passive house, at right, shows how little heat is escaping compared to a traditional building to the left
Pax Futura is a multi-level, mixed-use development, which includes live/work spaces, as well as retail spaces on it’s first level. This construction project aims for the ambitious goal of creating a residential/commercial passive house building. The term “Passive House” refers to a highly insulated building which is able to maintain consistent thermal comfort year-round with the aid of a heat exchange ventilation system and high-performance windows. The objective is “net-zero energy”; a building with zero net energy consumption, meaning the total amount of energy used by the building on an annual basis is roughly equal to the amount of renewable energy created on the site.
It is not difficult to consider why our products are being commissioned for this type of project. Our 70-series triple-glazed systems incorporate argon-filled dual LowE-366 Cardinal glass (exterior LowE/Clear/interior LowE) to achieve remarkable whole-product thermal testing results. These units also reach impressive air and water infiltration/exfiltration results, ensuring comfort and climate-control for the living space in which our units are installed. These features make our product seemingly tailor-made for Passive House projects.
This style of construction has been very prolific in Europe. There currently exist an estimated 15,000-20,000 Passive House constructions, the vast majority in German-speaking countries and Scandinavia. We feel privileged and enthusiastic to be on the forefront of this movement in North America. The ability to share a role in NK Architect’s and Cascade Built’s endeavor is a step in the direction we hope to see the entire construction industry trend towards; A shift in priorities to an enlightened, environmentally-conscious mentality about our living spaces, minimizing our ecological footprints.