New Home Building Project in Seattle’s Ballard Neighborhood, Under Construction by Seattle Contractor Hammer & Hand, Blows Past Passive House Threshold

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Ballard Passive House blower door test registers an über-tight reading for the Seattle new home building project, easily beating that required to meet the world’s most stringent building energy standard, Passive House.

Ballard Passive House by Seattle New Home Builder Hammer & Hand

In a Passive House, you’re breathing clean, filtered air from a planned source. In a conventional home your air is coming from who-knows-where – that dirty crawl space, holes in those toxic walls components, leaky windows if you’re lucky.

Seattle home builder Hammer & Hand announced today that its Ballard Passive House new home building project, still under construction, has already bested the airtightness requirement of the Passive House (aka Passivhaus) standard by more than a factor of two.

The Seattle high performance builder conducted a blower door test to determine the relative leakiness of the structure under pressure, measured by how many times the air in the house is replaced over a given time. The test showed an über-tight reading of 0.28 air changes per hour at 50 pascals of pressure, or 0.28ACH50, compared to the 0.60ACH50 required by the Passive House standard.

“When we first encountered the Passive House standard, its air tightness requirements seemed scary,” said Hammer & Hand Seattle project supervisor Dan Whitmore. “But what we’re discovering is that with good envelope design and precise construction in the field, it’s fun and straightforward.”

Airtightness is a critical component of Passive House construction because by controlling the flow of air, Passive House designers control the flow of heat and moisture. Among other benefits, this enables Passive House structures to safely employ super insulation to achieve both unparalleled thermal comfort and transformational energy savings. The careful control of heat, air and moisture makes Passive House building envelopes dry, rot-free and extremely durable.

Heat recovery ventilation provides a 24/7 supply of filtered, fresh air to interior spaces, while capturing the heat (or cool) energy from exhaust air. This use of planned ventilation over the random ventilation of conventional structures translates to new highs in indoor air quality.

“To put it baldly, I want to breathe through my nose and mouth, not my other orifices,” said Whitmore. “In a Passive House, you’re breathing clean, filtered air from a planned source. In a conventional home your air is coming from who-knows-where – that dirty crawl space, holes in those toxic walls components, leaky windows if you’re lucky.”

For more about the Ballard Passive House and its airtight construction, visit http://hammerandhand.com/ballard-passive-house.

Learn more about Seattle Passive House services by visiting Hammer & Hand’s website at (http://www.hammerandhand.com/passive-house).

About Hammer & Hand
Hammer & Hand is a construction company dedicated to inciting evolution in building through service, science and craft. The firm collaborates with clients and architects to build the best of the Northwest, from new custom homes, to residential remodels, to commercial renovations.

Hammer & Hand Portland
1020 Southeast Harrison Street
Portland, OR 97214
http://hammerandhand.com
(503) 232-2447

Hammer & Hand Seattle (at The Bullitt Center)
1501 E Madison St, #250
Seattle, WA 98122
http://hammerandhand.com/seattle
(206) 397-0558

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Zack Semke
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