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Passive House

15

Jul

upcoming presentations by fuentesdesign

Join fuentesdesign at our upcoming presentations:

CGBG: BROWN BAG SERIES: HIGH PERFORMANCE BUILDING ENVELOPES – PART 1

This lecture will be targeted towards professionals in the green building industry, and is the first in a two-part series. This two part series will discuss important design considerations that apply to high performance building envelopes.  From foundations to roof assemblies, this series will discuss the importance of eliminating thermal bridging and achieving a continuous insulation layer and air barrier, highlighting important areas for both design and structural detailing. With unique experience building and designing with various systems, we will discuss the pros and cons of various insulation and framing systems, highlighting local case study examples.For our first session, we will provide an overview of passive house theory, common passive house envelope design strategies, and best practices in construction.   The key concepts described in the presentation will include understanding of the importance of continuous air and thermal barriers, thermal bridge free detailing, and European passive house glazing design and shading strategies.  An overview of common passive house modeling software will also be reviewed.

Our speakers will be: Brian Fuentes, AIA, CPHC, See the Colorado Green Building Guild for more information. 

CGBG: August 12th: Brown Bag Series: High Performance Building Envelopes – Part 2

This lecture will be targeted towards professionals in the green building industry, and is the second in a two-part series. This two part series will discuss important design considerations that apply to high performance building envelopes.  From foundations to roof assemblies, this series will discuss the importance of eliminating thermal bridging and achieving a continuous insulation layer and air barrier, highlighting important areas for both design and structural detailing. With unique experience building and designing with various systems, we will discuss the pros and cons of various insulation and framing systems, highlighting local case study examples.
 For our second session, we will explore in more detail and case study format the challenges of detailing passive house envelopes in terms of different soils conditions, common thermal bridges, European passive house window detailing, and quality control and quality assurance in passive house envelope performance.  The key concepts described in the presentation will include understanding of various high performance floor, wall/window and roof systems and their successful application in construction.
 Our speakers will be: Brian Fuentes, AIA, CPHC, See the Colorado Green Building Guild for more information. 

Sustainable Living Fair: Green Building Tent- Passive House and Zero Energy Homes

When: Saturday Sept. 20th, 11 am – 12:00 pm, Brian Fuentes, fuentesdesign LLC
Where: Fort Collins
What: After 15 years of experience designing and building net zero energy, straw bale and passive house type homes in Boulder and around Colorado, Architect and Builder Brian Fuentes AIA will share case studies of real green building projects and the lessons learned on what works, what doesn’t and where the best place to put your money for truly ecologically-minded, healthy, resilient homes. See Sustainable Living Fair for more info.

16

May

Sunshine project update

Perched on top of Sunshine Canyon, this 4-Mile Fire rebuild is heading towards the home stretch! Targeting the Passive House standard, the home is designed with a continuous air barrier, super-insulated wall/roof/slab assemblies and phase change material for increased thermal mass. In addition, the triple pane European windows by Zola Windows, are used throughout. The fuentesdesign team is excited to receive results from tomorrow’s preliminary blower-door air tightness test!  Thanks to Roger Sims, of Natural Homes, and the entire team for a well executed project!!

19

Feb

CGBG High Performance Building Series

The Colorado Green Building Guild is hosting a four part, “High Performance Building Series” – joined by a number of other Passive House enthusiasts, Brian Fuentes will be presenting on Passive House concepts implemented in fuentesdesign projects.

15

Feb

Visit of Future Off-grid Passive House

Beautiful Colorado!! Here’s a quick panoramic of the future home site of an off-grid Passive House in Fairplay, Colorado (elevation 9900′).  Construction anticipated spring 2013 – check back for additional videos as the project progresses!

 

15

Nov

En route to Passive House Certification!

Today fuentesdesign and our team successfully conducted our final blower door test at our Alpine Passive House project – achieving an airtest of <0.6ACH 50!  On track to be one of the first Passive Houses in Colorado and potentially, the first straw bale Passive House in the U.S., this home proves that the Passive House air-tightness standard can be achieved with the use of natural products including straw bales and lime plaster.

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28

Sep

National Passive House Tour features fuentesdesign homes

 

Building scientists and Passive House enthusiasts from around the country gathered in Denver for the 2012 National Passive House conference and capped of the week with tours of fuentesdesign homes.

View clips from the tours here:

  • Marshall Plan – Rebuilding an 1890s mining cabin into a state of the art Passive House (VIDEO COMING SOON!)
  • Renew – An urban retrofit renewing a 1950s track home into a cozy but modern adobe home
  • Alpine Passive House  – a prefabricated straw bale mountain home, pursuing Passive House certification
  • Passivista – designed by fuentesdesign, built by Mainstream Corporation
Brian Fuentes and Megan Monroe volunteering at the 2012 National Passive House Conference in Denver, Colorado.

15

Jun

Das Haus Tour is coming to Denver!

fuentesdesign is excited to welcome the Das Haus tour, scheduled to be in Denver October 2012.

According to the tour: ‘Das Haus is a traveling pavilion, a North American tour about advanced technologies for home construction and solar energy use. The purpose – to share German innovations that have achieved sustainable construction and operational energy savings. Attendees represent leading organizations and businesses in building materials, architecture, engineering, renewable energy and energy efficiency businesses, universities, and public officials…

The hands on format includes:

  1. An enclosed room built to Passive House standards featuring a relatively thin yet superinsulated envelope, heat recovery ventilation and cooling, and triple–pane windows that optimize solar heat gain while minimizing heat loss. Stepping into the room instantly communicates the superior indoor comfort the Passive House Standard is known for.
  2. Solar energy collection systems which help to power the pavilion, including roof modules featuring state–of–the–art thin film CIS photovoltaics, and solar capturing façade elements which generate power while providing additional insulation benefits.
  3. Exhibitive wall construction systems representing a wide range of insulation techniques and materials designed to resist thermal conductivity, avoid thermal bridging, and maximize year–round indoor comfort.”

Find more information here.

Photo from: http://dashaustour.com/media/

07

Feb

fuentesdesign utilizes THERM to evaluate heat transfer in building assemblies.

Utilizing thermal modeling (THERM) of wall assemblies, fuentesdesign gains bettering understanding of thermal performance. THERM, a computer based program developed by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory can be used to evaluate two-dimensional heat transfer in building components including windows/doors, walls, foundations and roofs. Beyond evaluating energy efficiency an understanding of heat-transfer is fundamental to understanding problems related to condensation, moisture damage, and structural integrity (LBNL).

Below, isotherms used to determine the transfer of heat through a glulam window sill in a fuentesdesign mountain home.

07

Nov

fuentesdesign Returns from International Passive House Days in France.

It was great to see some passive house projects in action – but like the US, passive house is relatively new to France, with only a handful of projects compared to neighboring countries (esp. Germany and Austria) where energy costs are higher. Considering this context, it was interesting to hear stories of struggles to get the builder to understand the air sealing details,  finding affordable materials, getting financing, and getting projects approved through local building and zoning codes.

Below, a passive house on the outskirts of Paris, France.