We’ve been asked how the most energy efficient of homes can make use of high ceilings – find out here.
This is a great question we received on our YouTube Channel earlier this year:
You’re talking a lot about saving square footage but is there a reason why the ceilings are so high? I imagine the extra volume would only really increase heating / cooling costs as you have more air to deal with. I understand the appeal of high ceilings for decorative purposes but it seems counter intuitive if the goal is to save on utilities.
Thank you for your thoughtful comment! We actually love comments like these because they allow us to explain some of the building science that goes into a passive house.
Your fundamental understanding is absolutely correct, however we do need to achieve a minimum volume of air inside in order for a passive home to work.
Essentially we need the surface area of heat loss areas (floor, roof, walls) to be 0.75 or less than the volume of air inside of the home. This is a design prerequisite by the International Passive House Association.
It’s pretty simple for us to accomplish this with most designs by designing a roof with the minimum slope required to meet this ratio (low slope monopitch roof style). This essentially allows us to save as much cost as possible by following a minimalistic approach to design.
It’s important to remember it is always our ultimate goal to reduce materials as much as possible so that our clients achieve an affordable passive house. Thanks again for your interest!
A passive home is the smartest choice you can make
High ceilings and abundant windows are shown in the Hummingbird house plan here, the Galetta plan (kitchen pic), and in the Fern passive house plan shown at the top of this post.
Their styles are very different, but the end result is the same: a wonderful sense of space and light, and a supremely comfortable and energy efficient home.
Why build passive?
We’ve shared in other posts why it makes no sense to build any other way. By building a passive home, you will be:
- Protecting your investment by staying ahead of current building codes and being ready for more stringent future codes.
- Protecting your pocket from constantly rising energy prices.
- Making resilience and sustainability central features of your home.
- Achieving the healthiest, most comfortable home imaginable.
By building an EkoBuilt passive house, you’ll also be benefiting from what we believe is the most affordable passive home option in North America.
Ready to plan your home? Give us a shout!