Tearing Down, Rebuilding Passive

We’ve been talking retrovit vs. rebuild recently. Two current projects are with homeowners who chose to rebuild passive.

Whether you decide to retrofit or rebuild your home is a highly personal decision. We’ve seen a huge uptick in retrofit enquiries, on top of our usual passive home builds, as people want an energy efficient home that is healthy and sustainable. Perhaps above all, it needs to be affordable. While we don’t undertake retrofitting ourselves, we think it’s important to help provide information on this topic.

The tiny house on a corner lot shown here was replaced by the smart two-storey passive home shown below.

The very small urban home shown here is in Ottawa’s Alta Vista neighbourhood. It will be replaced by a large, passive home.

A New Start in Ottawa’s East End

Earlier this winter we completed a new project in the East End of our homebase, Ottawa, Ontario.

The home was recently the subject of a short video, shown here, that addresses whether it makes sense to build passive in a highly shaded urban environment (hint – the answer is yes!).

This particular home is essentially shaded on all four sides or aspects of the home, and yet it very much makes sense to go passive.

The design is a modified version of our popular Fiddlehead floorplan and runs 1,584 sq ft (compared to 1,330 for the original design). It’s now a 2+1 bed / 1.5 bath, compared to the original 2+1 bed / 3 bath.

The ground floor was flipped and tweaked just a bit, while the upper floor removed the ensuite bathroom from the master, and enlarged the original secondary bathroom to include a double vanity. The third bedroom is serving as an office or den.

Screenshot from a short video with Paul Kealey explaining how even in urban environments with a lot of shade, a passive house still makes sense.
Click the image to watch on Tik Tok, or click here to watch as an Instagram reel.

We have more than 50 passive house plans ranging in size from 400 square feet to 3,000 square feet. Our homes are used as secondary dwelling units (also known as ADUs, coach homes, and laneway suites), vacation homes, and primary homes. We pair our plans (or your custom design) with our pre-certified passive house kit. We ship across North America.

Planning for a Large Passive Home

We recently completed plans for a large passive house to replace a very small single storey home on a mature lot in Ottawa’s Alta Vista neighbourhood.

This client will wait for interest rates to settle before beginning the build, but wanted to be sure to lock down the design.

This is a large (3,200 sq ft), four bedroom, three bathroom family home with flexible spaces built in.

The ground floor features an open plan living, kitchen and dining space across the rear, while there is an office / guest bedroom and bathroom situated conveniently next to the front entrance.

The upper floor features a master suite with walk in closet and large ensuite bathroom with both soaker tub and shower. Three more bedrooms share a centrally situated bathroom with a separate sink/vanity to maximize sharing.

Finally, the upper floor also accommodates a laundry room and a lounge area for relaxing.

An exterior rendering of the large new passive home to be built for a family in Ottawa's Alta Vista neighbourhood by EkoBuilt.

Post-pandemic, there is more awareness of the need for “away” space for work, study, etc. This floorplan is a great example of a home that has space for being both together and apart.

Interested in customizing a home for the future in your urban neighbourhood? Give us a shout!

4 thoughts on “Tearing Down, Rebuilding Passive

  1. Jeff

    How many percent of energy efficiency is a passive house better than current NECB (National Energy Code For Buildings) / NBC (National Building Code) for Canada?

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