Eco-friendly ‘passive house’ open to the public next weekend

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Fort St. John’s passive house here will be open to the public on November 14th and 15th, from noon until 4:00 PM each day.

What is a passive house? It’s a home is almost air tight, getting most of its heating from the sun and has such an insulated building enclosure that it only requires a small amount energy to heat and cool.

With solar panels on the roof, the City says it may not need to purchase energy at all.

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The house was complete last January and certified by the Passive House Institute US this past July. It is the third house of its kind in Canada, and the one furthest north.

Now, two caretakers live in the home, and are inviting the public in to see how they live in the home.

The construction of the house costed $363 per ft2, which the City says ‘compares favourably with other average homes in Fort St. John.’ The home is 1,895 ft2, putting the cost at about $687,885.

An average home in 2014 was between $250 and $350 per ft2, depending on finishing details.

The City started looking into building a passive house in 2012, as part of an endeavour to conserve more energy.

Other recent efforts to do this include the City adopting a community wide GHG reduction target of 12% below 2007 levels by 2030.

According to the City, there have been no costs for utilities in the home this fall, and it is heading into it’s first test of how the house stands up to the great white north’s harsh winters.

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More information about the passive house itself, and construction of the home, can be found on their website.

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