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passive solar design ( wref2012.org).
exchanger in a loop, which takes heat from the earth in the winter months
and boosts the temperature of the fresh air going into the ERV.
The water from the solar tank is circulated through a water-to-air heat
exchanger inline with the ERV system, and this 200 cfm of fresh air heats
the entire house, except for the backup radiant tubing in the entry area. A
CO2 sensor monitors occupant activity and modulates the ERV ventilation
rate. If the heat demand trumps ventilation needs, the ERV speeds up to
meet the heat demand.
The cooling system is an indirect-direct evaporative cooler ducted to
all the cooling load spaces in the house. Unlike single-stage evaporative
coolers, this unit runs air through an indirect heat exchange mechanism
that removes heat from the air without adding moisture, resulting in drier
air and better occupant comfort. When cooling is called for, a motorized
damper opens, allowing cool fresh air to flow into the building from the
cooler, which is located outside. Two motorized window openers allow an
exit path for exhaust air.
For the sake of simplicity, the owners decided to forgo natural gas service. For food preparation, they use an induction cooktop, and the electric
resistance element in the solar storage tank provides space heat when the
The breezeway turned entry vestibule serves as the organizing spatial element that unites the disparate indoor and outdoor places on the property.
This foyer also features radiant tubing in the floor for backup heating during
extreme cold weather.
Copyright © 2012 by the American Solar Energy Society Inc. All rights reserved.
The requirements of the Passive House standard complemented the owners’
desire for an abundance of natural light and a clean, uncluttered aesthetic.
passive solar design and the solar hot water system cannot provide enough
heat. In addition, because electricity is relatively expensive in Salt Lake City
and is generated by burning coal, we installed a 2.2-kilowatt photovoltaic
(PV) solar electric system to begin to balance on-site energy consumption
with energy production.
The Breezeway House’s relatively high electricity use results from the
decision to cook and heat with electricity. Thanks to the modular nature of a
PV system, the owners can add modules in the future to supply that electricity if they choose. In the meantime, they can enjoy their beautiful, comfortable home secure in the knowledge that building a state-of-the-art Passive
House was a smart choice that will serve them well far into the future. ST
dave Brach is a licensed architect, contractor, carpenter, cabinet maker, woodworker,
rock climber, fly fisherman, mountain biker, hiker, skier and overall worshipper of the
high desert climate. Originally from the Midwest, he studied anthropology at Notre
Dame and architecture at the University of Illinois Chicago. In 2004, he moved to
Utah to be close to the mountains.