Discover the myriad benefits of
Passive House Construction.
by Lisa Cavanaugh
Photographs by Dan Cutrona
Imagine your next electricity or heating bill having no balance due but your home environment remaining utterly comfortable. Or envision making an impact by reducing your home’s carbon footprint to net zero. The right kind of environmentally conscious construction could provide both if you choose the right company.
“Passive House Construction is a method of building that provides a quantifiable and rigorous level of energy efficiency,” says Chris Girard, a Job Superintendent and PHIUS-Certified Passive Home Builder with The Valle Group in Falmouth, one of the earliest adopters of passive house standards in the U.S. “It aims to optimize every aspect of the building’s energy efficiency by incorporating specific building science principles that were refined by the German Passive Home Builder movement,” says Girard.
The Passive Home Builder movement centers on five principles: super-insulated and thermal bridge-free construction, envelope airtightness, optimized windows, balanced ventilation, and minimal use of space conditioning. When adhering to these principles, homeowners can expect a finished building that is quieter, more comfortable, more efficient, and more energy independent than many other alternatives, explains Girard.
The Valle Group is an expert in achieving this building type and, since 2012, has completed several passive homes on Cape Cod. “Everyone at the company is aware that we live in a beautiful place and knows how important it is to keep it that way,” says Christian Valle, President of The Valle Group. “Philosophically, as a family and company, we are passionate about being good stewards of the environment.”