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BISHOP PASSIVE HOUSE

San ​Luis Obispo, CA 93405

  • Single Family Residence

  • Attached Garage

  • Total SQ Footage: 2958

  • 1 Story

  • Zero-Net-Energy

  • All Electric Home

  • Meets PHPP Criteria for Passive House 

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

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PHASE 1: DESIGN

DESIGN BY CAIRN

COLLABORATIVE

ENVIRONMENTAL CONSULTING BY IN BALANCE GREEN CONSULTING

Bishop Passive is a one-story single-family residence located near Bishop’s Peak. The project is all-electric and seeking Passive House Certification. This certification from PHI (The Passive House Institute) focuses on creating an efficient home in an effort to reduce the building’s carbon footprint while increasing overall comfort, health, and interior air quality for the user. The project incorporates a few key components necessary to achieve these goals. The home has continuous insulation throughout the living area and is an airtight construction assembly. Both of these details ensure a more resilient shelter that maintains consistent interior temperature and comfort levels. The home subsequently requires only a small amount of space conditioning. Additionally, the project uses a balanced fresh-air-exchange ventilation system to ensure comfortable, clean, indoor air quality. The home is expected to use a small fraction of the energy of the average newly-constructed home in California - approximately 85% less. During the design process, conscious decisions were made to choose building materials and finishes that would reduce harmful off-gassing and that were made from recycled materials. This home will serve as an example of how to build a resilient, efficient, comfortable, healthy, and cost-effective home!

 
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PHASE 2: FOUNDATION

The slab for this project utilizes a new-to-us material called GLAVEL. GLAVEL is an insulating recycled glass aggregate that doubled as our gravel layer and our under slab insulation. It was surprisingly easy to install and gave us a smooth surface that got topped with our Stego membrane and our slab mixture. The foundation is both literally and figuratively the "foundation" of this whole project and it's a crucial step to pay attention to. 

SLAB VIDEO

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PHASE 3: FRAMING

 

WALL ASSEMBLY VIDEO

Framing for this project was pretty much the same as on any conventional build. We did build a mock-up of the whole wall assembly on site that we used to show the framers how the entire wall was going to come together. This helped to keep the whole team on the same page on how the building was going to stay airtight. 

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PHASE 4: WATER CONTROL

 

WEATHER RESISTANT BARRIER VIDEO

We chose to use the Solitex Adhero Self adhering membrane for our weather resistant barrier. This membrane is diffusion permeable and helps to protect the exterior from weather while the construction is happening. In our wet winter this was definitely helpful. Two of us wrapped the entire house in a couple of days and we worked with the framers to tie this membrane into our roof membrane for a continuous wrap. 

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PHASE 5: EXT INSULATION

 

EXTERIOR INSULATION VIDEO

For our exterior insulation we used Gutex Multitherm. It was incredibly easy for us to put up with our small crew, and would have been even faster if we'd taught the framing crew to do it. It was a breath of fresh air to not have to use foam and only go home covered in some sawdust. We used a circular saw to cut apart pieces and a staple gun to attach to our sheathing. 

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PHASE 6: WINDOWS

 

WINDOWS VIDEO

Triple Pane windows were a must for this project. The client had some amazing views which meant we wanted to celebrate those with glass without compromising our airtightness. We went with ZOLA windows after checking out a couple of the high performance companies. They were able to make our large custom windows and doors. We ended up using a suction cup machine and a lot of arm strength to get these windows set into place. Once in the rough opening, it was incredibly easy to plumb them up. The thermal difference and sound difference was incredible upon the addition of this glass. 

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PHASE 7: SIDING/STUCCO

 
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PHASE 8: MECHANICALS

 

For our mechanical system, we used a mini split to condition the home and an HRV to supply ventilation to the home. We went with a heat pump hot water heater to create an efficient system. The whole house uses no gas and therefore uses a heat pump dryer and an induction cook top. The energy usage for this home will be much less than a conventional build. 

We make sure to document all the water and ventilation lines before the drywall is put up. Key dimensions will help if there is any need to get into the walls in the future. This is given to the homeowner once the build is complete. 

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PHASE 9: DRYWALL

 
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