The SIDCO Zero-Energy Home is Passive. But What Does That Mean? – Part I

One of the distinctive attributes of a SIDCO zero-net energy home is that it is passive. It is also a living space that offers a wealth of benefits – it can reduce your in yearly energy costs, support the environment, and help to mitigate climate

change, all the while maintaining the comfort and the quality of a traditional home. Making the choice to “go passive” is an active decision with many environmental and financial rewards.

What is a Passive House?

Here’s a simple analogy that will help. What happens when you wear a jacket on a cold day? The jacket contains your body heat, keeping it close to you and you stay warm. It passively keeps you warm, using what you already have. This is a SIDCO home – like the jacket it maintains a comfortable temperature year-round using its existing environment as its own source of heat.

A net-zero energy dwelling can be adapted for virtually all climates. A SIDCO passive home uses 75- 80% less energy than a traditional home. And like a conventional home, a passive dwelling is going to pass the eye test and enhance curb appeal.

The SIDCO Passive House Has High Performance Standards

According to the International Passive House Association, building standards include:

  1. According to the International Passive House Association, building standards include:
  2. Exceptionally high levels of insulation—Proper insulation keeps warm air inside the house in the colder months and keeps it from getting out during the warmer months.
  3. Well-insulated window frames and glazings—Passive house windows are triple-paned with triple-glazed sealing to prevent leakage The space between the panes is filled with an inert gas, denser than air and a better insulator. And an exterior screen during the warmer months, either from trees or exterior shades, blocks the sun from warming the house.
  4. Air-tight building envelope—A typical house has four to six air exchanges per hour, meaning the entire volume of air is replaced four to six times. All the warm or cool air you have spent money on is pushed out of the house and is wasted. In a passive house, due to the air-tight seal, very little is wasted, the average hourly air exchange is .06.
  5. Thermal bridge-free design and construction—Any place there is an opening in the building envelope, for electrical service, cable, or plumbing, is an opportunity for air to enter or exit a home, resulting in less efficient energy use. These leaks are called thermal bridges. They need special sealing. When not properly sealed leaks can occur where windows join walls, or around doors, floors and roofs.
  6. Ventilation with highly efficient heat or energy recovery system—Depending on the settings, this simple unit uses the incoming air to cool the outgoing warmer air, or uses the interior cooler air to cool in the coming warmer air. It comes as a pleasant surprise to many that a passive home doesn’t require an AC system or a furnace!

How Good are Passive Houses at Conserving Energy and Saving Money?

In the eastern U.S. a 2500 sq. ft. home will use roughly 880 gallons of heating oil per year. A passive home, by contrast, will save you up to 90% on energy cost compared to a standard home. Yes, it’s practically a zero-net energy solution to your heating and cooling bill.

The SIDCO Home Passes the Fire-Resistant Test

In 2017, the entire city of Paradise vanished in less than twenty- four hours to the devastating Camp Fire. And in recent years, even more California communities have been ravaged by wildfires, a consequence of changes due to climate change. The SIDCO home is fire resistant and comes equipped with these innovations:

  • Our patented Eco Smart Panels replace the use of OSB and Plywood save Lives and property.
  • Eco smart material is termite proof, mold proof, moisture resistant, and designed to reduce CO2 in the environment.
  • The fire-resistant home is all electric and supported with 100% renewable energy

We tested a SIDCO panel in the city of Paradise to see if it would burn. (Click here soon to see what happened!)

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