At Newphire Building, we're passionate about building high-performance, ultra energy efficient homes that meet stringent certification standards. How can we help you build your dream home while also making a bold statement against the unsustainable use of fossil fuels? Here's how:
Air Tight Construction- The PHIUS requirement for air tightness is over ten times more stringent than the new, “more rigorous” International Code. This requires an unbending attention to detail and constant supervision to ensure that the air sealing effort is up to par. Everyone involved must be on board to achieve this goal. Building a high performance home is not business as usual for subcontractors. They must be trained to care about cutting a vent stack, for example, that is tight, sealed and gasketed… Not to pick on plumbers, but that is definitely not the norm! The air tightness is checked multiple times throughout construction using a blower door that we share with some colleagues of ours. By checking as we go, we can address the areas of concern while things are still accessible, thereby avoiding the potential for utter disappointment at the end when it is too late to do anything about it.
Fresh Air- When people hear about how airtight we build, they are understandably concerned about where the fresh air is coming from. If no fresh air was introduced to such a tight envelope, the air would get stale and funky in a hurry. To address this issue, we use an Ultimateaire Recuperator Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV), or the state-of-the-art Conditioning Energy Recovery Ventilator (CERV) by Build Equinox. In a code built house, you get your Air Changes per Hour (ACH) from air leakage coming up from moldy crawlspace air, and from leakage around doors and windows. This air is unfiltered and is not dehumidified. With the ERV, you are in control of how many ACH you would like, with filtered air. With the CERV, you can set limits for VOCs, CO2 and humidity. Which would you prefer?
Triple Pane Windows and Doors- If you go to all this trouble to have a thermal bridge free, airtight envelope, it would be pointless to install sub par domestic windows and doors. We have used super efficient windows and doors from Ireland, Germany, Canada, Lithuania, Poland and the U.S. No one in the region has more experience or contacts than us when it comes to providing you with viable, cost effective options for high performance triple pane windows and doors.
Passive Solar Principles- Passive solar principles have been around a long time - really since humans formed civilizations. This is no time to turn away from something that works, requires no electricity, has no moving parts to break, and functions as long as the sun comes up each day to passively heat and cool your home. The idea is simple: orient your house so that the long axis of the house runs east-west with the south facing elevation being as close to due south as possible. You then need to ensure that you have properly sized overhangs to effectively shade the summer sun while letting the winter sun in. All of that winter sun should be absorbed by some sort of thermal mass. A concrete floor is a great example - it will absorb the sun’s energy during the day, and release it during the evening. The result is a comfortable house without drastic swings in temperature. This simple technique can significantly reduce your heating and cooling costs with no additional cost of construction. It is a no-brainer…
Please contact us and let us know how we can help bring your vision to reality! We look forward to working with positive people in a collaborative effort to build a one of a kind, super efficient homes.