House with recessed LED lighting

Custom 2-Storey Passive Home

In 2020 we sold our first model home, the hugely popular Trillium model that we had built west of Ottawa as a showcase for our passive house offering. This is an overview of that build. Our new model home isn’t ready yet, but you can read about it here.

The Trillium

The Trillium energy efficient house plan is a two-storey home with a really unique layout, including single storey “wings” that were used for the kitchen and master suite, respectively.

The core two-storey section of the home houses living spaces and a powder room on the main level and three bedrooms and a bathroom on the upper level.

The street facing side of the home features smaller windows, while the living areas at the rear side of the home feature much larger windows and patio doors.

3,121 sq ft | 4 Bed, 2.5 Bath

Trillium house plan

The home comes with the option of adding a carport or two-car garage.

Photo Gallery

NEW! Having sold our last demonstration home in 2020, we’re really excited to begin building a new one in 2021. Located right in West Ottawa, it will be even more convenient to see. Read more.

Passive kit home made with quality materials

Prefab house vs. passive house kit

One question we often field is whether our passive house kit is the same as a prefab house. It’s not. It’s something much better, in our view, and here’s why:

Unlike a prefabricated house, which comes straight from the factory ready for final assembly on your property or site, our material kits provide quality materials installed in the correct steps and the option to be as involved as you like in the build. These are quite significant differences.

The Hummingbird
See all of our energy efficient house plans

Our weathertight material kit can be shipped across North America, and can be assembled by any experienced carpenter. It’s down to you and the details of your project to decide on foundation and finishes.

We’ll state our bias upfront: we think that our passive house kits win hands down over prefab assemblies, particularly for our northern climate where weathertight wall assemblies matter a great deal.

Prefab Homes: The Cons

  1. Transport – large prefab walls require multiple large trucks, adding cost to the project’s bottom line.
  2. Site access – large trucks often have trouble accessing building sites, requiring additional vehicles and steps at increased cost.
  3. Build integrity – insulation in prefab walls demand just the right weather conditions during transport and assembly.
  4. Assembly & foundation issues – prefab buildings need cranes for assembly, which are costly. This cost is often driven up by site / foundation irregularities affecting installation.
  5. Hidden costs – fully prefabricated homes are marketed as being cheap and quick, but as the points above illustrate, at what additional cost?
  6. Air leakage – prefab systems come with just one chance to seal the building with exterior tape, compared to the stringent triple-protection of a passive house build (vapor barrier, air barrier, and water barrier).
  7. Mechanical penetrations – there are a number of items required to pass through walls, such as plumbing vent pipe, exterior light and outlet wiring, HRV supply and exhaust lines, heat pump lines, etc. Prefab walls containing insulation will compromise thermal break at all of these points, making the building envelope far inferior.

Passive House Kits: The Benefits

  1. Flexible, local – our kits allow you to be as involved as you like, as well as to involve local builders and tradespeople.
  2. Transport – we partner with national carriers and distributors, allowing us to minimize delivery and travel distances regardless of property location.
  3. Site access, build versatility – our weathertight material kit is provided unassembled, simplifying delivery options and providing flexibility for adapting to building site conditions.
  4. Sensible construction – insulation isn’t installed in the roof and walls until the building is proven to be weather-tight; an on-site build just makes more sense.
  5. Quality assurance – the integrity of installed materials is best accomplished when they are installed together. The vapor barrier goes first, followed by the air barrier, and then the water barrier. The only method of quality integration is with a site-built kit, not a pieced-together panelized home.
  6. Customizable – we offer the choice of structural wall assembly: standard wood frame or optional internal timber-frame core.
  7. Insulation – this is the main component designed to keep the building easy to heat and cool, and to remain problem-free. Any super-insulated building needs to have a vapor permeable system in place for the wall to maintain dryness. EkoBuilt wall insulation R75, roof insulation R120.
  8. Wind tight: an EkoBuilt PassiveHouse is guaranteed to be under 0.6ACH (air exchange per hour). Any modern building should be able to perform to this degree of air-tightness.
  9. Timing – pre-assembled kit elements achieve an accelerated build timeframe.

We think you’ll find that the quality and energy efficiency that can be achieved by building on-site far outweighs the apparent convenience of a fully pre-fabricated house. Contact us to find out more.

Related Content

Conceptual for a super energy efficient bungalow with basement

Two Passive Homes in the United States

Yes, we can and do provide our EkoBuilt Passive House kits and plans to US homeowners!

We love that the passion for building passive continues across Canada as well as south of the border. We hear regularly from home owners in the United States keen to build with our weathertight material kit and super energy efficient plans. With governments around the globe now talking about carbon free futures, a passive home is more relevant than ever. We are pleased to share a couple of projects happening in the US this year.

Read More

Ottawa passive house

Reminder: EkoModel Home Open House this Weekend!

Did you know that International Passive House Days will take place this weekend? If you’re in the Ottawa area and keen to visit one of our passive homes, now is your chance.

Come visit the EkoModel Home this weekend – we’ll be open from 9am to 3pm every day from Friday, Nov 8 to Sunday Nov 10.

The home is just west of Ottawa in McNab/Braeside.

Open House days include a 12pm presentation by EkoBuilt’s Paul Kealey.

Passive House resources


Ottawa passive house

Reminder: EkoModel Home Open House this Saturday!

In the Ottawa area? Interested in visiting one of our passive homes?

Come visit the EkoModel Home this weekend – we’ll be open from 9am to 3pm on Saturday, October 5th. The home is just west of Ottawa in McNab/Braeside. (If you can’t make it this time, we’ll also be having a 3-day Open House in early November.)

Open House days include a 12pm presentation by EkoBuilt’s Paul Kealey.

Passive House resources