Kate Webb architect is committed to developing and implementing sustainable design strategies within their projects. Kate Webb is trained in a variety of sustainable building methods She is certified by the Passive House Institute in both Germany and the US, and is a LEED Accredited Professional.
The Passive House strategy of building is focused on creating a highly energy-efficient structure. A Passive House gets its heat from the sun and the heat of its occupants. The diagram above shows the effect of the sunscreen at the summer and winter solstices: the higher angle of the summer sun is blocked by the screens, while the lower winter sun floods the space with light and warmth. The thick walls use cellulose insulation and a vapor-permeable air barrier to prevent thermal leaks. It is essentially a house which has no energy requirements for heating or cooling.
The wall section incorporates a variety of thermal protection techniques, and is also designed to be extremely mold and moisture resistant. The rainscreen helps to protect the wind barrier from moisture collection, by wicking water away from the structure. The wind barrier (blue dotted line) is permeable only outward, allowing any moisture trapped within the wall to be released. The insulation itself is blown-in cellulose, which is completely recycled material with a high R-value, and which also is highly conductive of moisture - allowing any water within the walls to pass through quickly. The continuous air barrier (red dotted line) wraps within the insulative layer, protecting it from any humidity from within the house. The air barrier is a sophisticated material which allows water to pass through in different directions depending on the season. This protects both the interior spaces and the wall insulation from accumulating any moisture or mold.
The HRV/ERV system is an essential element to Passive House Design. This system allows up to a 95% energy recovery from the interior conditioned air, allowing the interior temperature to remain stable.