Passive house materials and construction

PassiveHouse Building System

There are three main components that go into every EkoBuilt passive house: the shell (what we call our weathertight material kit, which we can ship anywhere in North America), the additional exterior and interior materials and finishes, as well as the mechanical systems for handling heating, cooling, and hot water.

We believe our propriety passive house system is the most affordable in North America.

Shipping our material kit

For customers within 2 hours of our Ottawa, Canada base, we can handle the entire build. For everyone else, we ship our PassiveHouse Material Kit (item 1 on this page) in three bundles:

  1. We ship our proprietary passive house components from our location: passive approved permeable air barrier sheathing / vapor barrier sheathing / water barrier house wrap;
  2. We source some of the lumber components and roof truss system in the customer’s local area (cost savings and lesser environmental impact);
  3. Our passive certified window and door supplier is set up for North American logistics and these are shipped direct to your location.

1. The Passive House Shell

This provides your home’s structure, protection from the elements, and air tight envelope. This is where our weathertight material kit comes in.

Every EkoBuilt PassiveHouse kit includes all of the items necessary for a watertight, wind tight, and vapour tight passive house. Any experienced carpenter can put this together. This kit includes:

  • Passive Home Design: (preliminary drawings, construction drawings, heat loss calculations, duct design/layout, energy efficiency design summary, P.Eng certification)
  • Exterior Wall Assembly: exterior to interior wall assembly, including strapping, housewrap, sheathing, internal and external wall frames, vapor barrier
  • Roof System: exterior to interior roof assembly, including everything but the actual roof material (we suggest a steel roof, listed below in section 2).
  • Windows and Doors: Munster PassiveHouse windows and doors
  • Other: interior partitions as per house plan, eave framing, passive approved gaskets and tapes, guaranteed ACH (air changes per hour) of 0.6 or lower

2. Additional Passive House Components

  • Foundation: Slab-on-grade Styrofoam tray insulated foundation, passive approved. This is our default, but we also offer the option of an ICF basement for a full or walk-out basement where this is needed on a project.
  • Roof Cover: Steel Roofing, Ideal Junior H-F (hidden fasteners)
  • Fascia/Soffit: aluminum fascia and soffit
  • Exterior Siding & Trim: GoodStyle exterior siding from Goodfellow Inc.
  • Insulation: PassiveHouse exterior walls (R75), Roof (R110), optional ICF basement using Amvic Mega Block insulated concrete forms (R50), widely available across North America
  • Plumbing: ABS, Pex pip and fittings, two exterior hose taps, rough and finish plumbing
  • Electrical: 200 amp service, all wiring, two exterior plugs, telephone and cable wiring
  • HVAC: Heating, air conditioning, ERV (see section 3 on our passive house systems)
  • Drywall: for all walls and ceilings
  • Interior finishes: we provide estimates for the following items, which are typically chosen by the client and will affect final budget as per their personal selections: paint, flooring and tiling, cabinetry, trim and baseboards, plumbing/taps and lighting fixtures.

3. Mechanical Systems

We have also selected robust electrically run systems for heating, cooling, and hot water (although we also work with customers who need to determine their own HVAC systems, depending on geographic location, fuel availability, etc.)

There is no furnace required in a passive house, and the footprint of the mechanical room in an EkoBuilt home is very small!

The systems used by an EkoBuilt passive home are entirely driven by electricity, and a small amount at that. Learn about the systems our home’s use on our Passive House Systems page.

Many of our customers want to go Net Zero, meaning they will install a solar panel system to generate as much energy as their home needs to run. This is incredibly easy to achieve with an EkoBuilt passive home, as the energy demand is so low. Our model home is so energy efficient, it’s actually Net Positive, creating more energy than it needs.

The Madawaska Passive House
One of our larger passive house plans, The Madawaska is suited to larger families or folks who live and work at home.