Windows and Doors for Your Passive House

It’s been a few years since we last profiled our certified passive window and door supplier of choice. In this post, we revisit why we’re so passionate about the passive house standard above all, and profile Munster Joinery. We also highlight where to get these windows and doors in the United States and answer some commonly asked questions about windows.

The passive house approach has been gaining traction here in Canada and south of the border in the United States, as evidenced by two projects we recently profiled. With climate change and carbon-free futures so much in the mainstream, there is an incredible amount of interest in North America.

The Four Best Reasons to Build Passive

While EkoBuilt can build homes at different points along the energy efficiency continuum, our passion is building passive. It’s the very best way to:

  1. Protect your investment in your home: a passively built home will never need an energy retrofit.
  2. Protect our environment by not contributing to carbon pollution.
  3. Protect your health through exceptional indoor air quality.
  4. Protect your bank account thanks to low running costs (utilities).

In order for your home to perform as a passivehouse it does need to be certified or at least be certifiable. Our weathertight material package and building system has been certified by the International Passive House Association (IPHA).

Passive Windows & Doors

To help with certification, there are some components that have been pre-certified by the IPHA, including windows / doors and ERV (a fresh air machine).

Our window/door product of choice is Munster Joinery, an Irish product sold in the U.S. through Klearwall. We included below the IPHA certificate for Munster Joinery.

They have two main lines of units, PVC And thermally broken aluminum.

We mainly use the PVC as it is the most affordable option, however if the design calls for large units where extra structure is required, aluminum is used. The aluminum option means large patio doors up to 12 feet wide are possible.

Shown here are the tilt and turn style windows from Munster Joinery:

Common questions about windows and doors

We are regularly asked for Canadian options with windows. The short answer is yes, these exist, but certified passive windows in Canada usually require imported European components. Hence our preference for the all-in-one solution from Munster Joinery. These components are ultimately European-based for now, but as passive house continues to gain traction, more of the components needed for building passive should be Canadian-made.

We are also frequently asked whether standard triple glazed windows can be used, and the answer is simply no. The performance of windows gets a bit complicated to explain quickly, but in brief a triple glazed certified passive window has three times the energy efficiency of a conventional triple glazed window. There really is no comparison.

Watch for an upcoming post about the Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV) that we use!

3 thoughts on “Windows and Doors for Your Passive House

  1. Pingback: Pre-certified Passive Components: ERV | EkoBuilt

  2. R Humphreys

    Is it possible to have 1 thick piece of glass in the triple to reduce sound? Are slim frames possible? I’m not keen on N American designed windows. Do you use SIPS in your designs for walls & roof? Would you consider retrofitting a raised ranch in Ottawa? Thanks – hope to see your stand in the next show.

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