Specht Residence

This Thaxton, Virginia custom home combines an open floor plan on the first floor with traditional architectural touches to create a gracious, modern home experience. Structures delivered the transformational energy savings of Passivhaus at almost no added construction expense. Ongoing utility bill savings offset any added mortgage payment for financing the modest increase in upfront construction expense. An advanced Passivhaus building envelope, coupled with passive ground loop and solar thermal system, helps the home achieve 72% energy savings compared to a code-built home.

Proven Performance: Specht Residence

One key difference between Passivhaus and other energy standards is that the advanced energy modeling done during the design phase ensures that the building will perform as predicted. So, for example, in the recently completed Specht residence, the modeled annual energy usage was within 1.5% of the actual usasge after the first year of occupation. Compared with a typically built new home in the same climate, this home consumes 70% less energy as the graph below shows.

Energy Use comparison between Passive House and Conventional ConstructionAfter one year of occupation, the all-electric Specht home used just 5,760 Kwh total energy for heating, cooling, hot water, lights, and plug loads. By comparison, a typical code-compliant new home would consume more than three times that energy. Because of the accuracy of the Passivhaus energy modeling tools, the predicted monthly utility savings for this new home were considered by the bank in the mortgage calculations, in effect offsetting the cost of the high-performance homes’ advanced features and bringing the total budget in at cost-parity with a conventionally built home.

2013GBM_AWARD_RECIPIENT_LogoSpecht Home receives Green Building of the Year
Fine Homebuilding magazine’s “Energy Smart Homes”
issue #027039, Winter 2014
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* Reprinted with permission © 2014, The Taunton Press, Inc.

Passivhaus interview with the Spechts

Passivhaus custom home clients: the Spechts, Thaxton VA

After living in this house, we really notice a difference when we visit other homes- they seem stuffy by comparison, and we’re always glad to come home. It’s a much fresher feeling.

Jason Specht, Thaxton, VA