Brookfield Residential has made Colorado history by gaining official ‘Passive House’ certification on a home at the Midtown at Clear Creek development in Adams County.
The super energy-efficient home near 68th Avenue and Pecos Street is projected to save its owner thousands of dollars every year in utility costs, with expenditures of less than $80 per month.
Fewer than 60 homes in the U.S. have received official ‘Passive House’ certification; and the Brookfield Residential model is the first one in Colorado, as designated by the Passive House Institute U.S. (PHIUS). It is believed that the Brookfield Residential Passive House is also the first in the nation by a production homebuilder.
“It has taken Colorado a long time to reach this milestone, because constructing a building that can actually meet the strict requirements of the Passive House standard and pass the rigorous review of PHIUS is a difficult task, ,” said Lance Wright, president of the Colorado chapter of the Passive House Alliance U.S., a public outreach arm of PHIUS. “Just consider that our Colorado chapter of PHAUS is over two years old and, while we have several custom home projects under construction, Brookfield managed to complete its project first.”
A Certified Passive House must meet three strict standards of performance in terms of air-exchange (two-way, inside-to-outside), energy usage (basic electricity) and Btu consumption (typically applying to heating and cooling). The air exchange cannot exceed .6 of every room per hour; the energy usage cannot exceed 11.1 kilowatts per square foot annually; and the Btu’s cannot exceed 4,750 per square foot annually.
“When we embarked upon this project, we saw it as an opportunity to experiment in technologies that will improve production homes’ comfort, efficiency and durability,” said Brookfield Residential General Manager Perry Cadman. “We’re committed to a vision that we call ‘Home Evolved,’ which includes an evolution of residential housing, with an unwavering search for changes that will result in improvements and, ultimately, perfection in residential building. The Passive House is the best example of this commitment and vision.”
The Brookfield Residential Passive House, 1787 W. 67th Ave., achieved its energy efficiency via creative design of its outer walls, a tight thermal envelope that employs the latest scientific insulation techniques, the highest-performing windows, and the most modern HVAC system.
The solar shingles included on the Passive House do NOT affect the Passive House rating. However, they do enable the Brookfield Residential structure to attain an official Home Energy Rating System (HERS) score of 27; and Brookfield Residential General Manager Perry Cadman projected that this Passive House would achieve a HERS score of 20 if the HERS software were structured to consider the innovative outside wall structure and the interior LED lighting.