Self-heated Earth-sheltered Michigan Passive House

from A2Reskilling


Everyone from teens to building pros will take away a better understanding of how buildings work and what the benefits are of building or retrofitting them to be airtight and superinsulated are. This earth-sheltered Net Zero Energy Passive House of foam slabs coated with Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete will produce all energy from sun & wind in cloudy MI. It could be heated with a hair blow dryer because of R-60 superinsulation with no thermal bridges and airtight construction. Solar thermal evacuated tube collectors will supply domestic hot water and excess summer solar heat will be saved for winter space heating. A counterflow heat recovery ventilator supplies fresh air with minimal heat loss. Water’s conserved with lowest-flow fixtures, a composting toilet, & rainwater cistern. Root cellars enable a year-round local organic diet.


Christina Snyder is an architect, licensed builder, and Michigan’s first Certified Passive House Consultant, and specializes in low and zero energy home designs and renovations, natural building, and co-housing. She is currently building an earth-sheltered, entirely solar heated, and eventually off-grid Passive House, using construction technologies almost unknown in Michigan. She is the principal of Equilibrium Energy Spaces, and has also taught at several MI universities & colleges, helping students win Zero Energy design competitions and build a Solar Decathlon home that was exhibited on the National Mall in Washington DC in 2007. She loves being an owner-builder and experimenting on herself before recommending technologies to others, and sometimes breaks into song as she works. She wants to build pre-fab zero energy tiny homes next, maybe even mobile ones, if she finds others who want to invest that way.


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