Our Approach

Passivhaus

Standing at the leading edge of high performance building, the Passivhaus (Passive House) energy standard provides a proven methodology for designing buildings that consume 70-90% less energy for heating and cooling than conventional new construction. The Passivhaus approach favors design elegance over complex gadgetry, combining a relatively simple suite of off-the shelf building techniques, such as super-insulation, air tight and thermal bridge-free envelopes, high quality doors and windows and energy recovery ventilation, into cost-optimized low-load, high performance facilities.

Benefits

The benefits of this approach are clear: superior thermal & acoustic performance (occupant comfort), constant supply of fresh air (healthy indoor spaces), durable building assemblies (low maintenance costs), and revolutionary energy performance (low operating costs) all for little or no cost premium.

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The Details

Quantum Architects principal Adam Cohen (Certified Passive House Consultant), an internationally-recognized leader in Passivhaus design and construction, leads the firm’s application of Passivhaus building science and applied design standards.

The high performance design principles that the firm regularly
incorporates include:

  • A super-insulated building shell with industry-leading low-U value triple-glazed windows and elimination of thermal bridges to maximize thermal energy efficiency, acoustical performance and occupant comfort.
  • An extremely high standard of air tightness (0.6 air changes/hour at 50 pascals air pressure) to eliminate drafts, minimize energy demand and maximize indoor air quality.
  • Cutting-edge hygrothermal analysis of coupled heat and moisture transfer in building components to eliminate mold, mildew and dry-rot issues.
  • Minimal mechanical systems for low initial and life cycle costs. 100% fresh air ventilation using a 90% efficient Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV) air handling system for health, comfort and energy efficiency.
  • Passive daylighting strategies that reduce electrical lighting, enhance occupant comfort and capture winter solar heat gain.
  • Net zero energy readiness for renewable energy (solar, hydro & wind) systems.

Quantum Architects’ projects routinely qualify for the highest levels of third party certification, including Passivhaus, LEED, Energy Star, Green Globes, etc.

In addition to superior energy performance, the firm’s projects also typically
include the following sustainable features:

  • Minimal site disturbance and low impact development (LID) strategies.
  • Use of locally-sourced materials.
  • Use of high recycled-content materials and readily-recyclable materials. Use of products with low or no volatile organic compounds (VOC).
  • Water conservation strategies that minimize potable water use and sewage treatment.
  • Passive controls such as motion sensors, lighting sensors and shading devices.

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