Tag Archives: passive house

Energy “Smart Home” a Reality with Passive House

The Cleveland Museum of Natural History has a remarkable new exhibit.   Coined the future of green building technology, the museum has sponsored a “smart home” that has been designed to meet Passive House standards and will seek Passive House certification when placed in it’s permanent location.

The museum had over a hundred partners participate in the design, build, financing and furnishing of the home and garden that is now open to the public to tour on the museum campus.  As typical to Passive House specifications it is extremely air tight, super insulated, contains no thermal bridges, and does not need a conventional furnace.  The home instead is heated and cooled with a small ductless air source heat pump.

Though the home was not seeking well known LEED certification, it was designed with LEED  criteria in mind and has many features that address the overall environmental impact of the building, besides energy usage.  It is also seeking “Green Communities” certification which was developed by Enterprise Community Partners, a national funder of neighborhood redevelopment.

Alexander (Zandy) Sievers, SBS Project Technician
RESNET Home Energy Rater
NorthWest Energy Star Homes Verifier
NAHB Green Building Verifier
T/(406)396-2661, zsievers@sbslink.com

Passive House News

This is a great article from the NY Times Energy and Environment blog about Passive House trending, standards, technology and more. One of our Energy Technicians, Zandy Sievers, recently finished the Passive House training this summer with Katrin Klingenberg, the director of the Passive House Institute-U.S. based in Urbana, Ill.

The story concedes that while the upfront costs can be 15-50% higher, the lifetime energy consumption is roughly 80% less than a normal home.  Even this Vermont home will need no furnace, with heat generation coming from radiant floor heat and a small wood stove.  Their hot water will be heater with solar thermal tubes.

Read the entire story here and check out the video below.

Zandy’s New Bio…

SBS is proud to announce (okay, we’re bragging a bit, but you’ll understand why)… that our very own Zandy Sievers  was appointed to the City of Missoula’s Greenhouse Gas and Energy Conservation Team!  He says, “Hopefully my say will have an effect on local energy reduction measures!”

As if that weren’t enough, Zandy is also on a 7-person verifier panel shaping the functionality of the green scoring tool for  NAHB Research Center’s National Green Building Standard.  The City of Missoula is about to incentivize  the NGBS for local green builders.  How yet, the panel is not sure.

Here is Zandy’s new bio:

Alexander (Zandy) Sievers, SBS Project Technician, began working in the building industry as a handyman, doing everything from plumbing and electrical work to carpentry, while finishing his B.A. degree in Psychology at the University of Montana.  After working in the human service field and a couple years in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Zandy made his way back into the building industry working as a carpenter and was hired by Eclipse Engineering, Inc. in 2006 as a Structural Draftsman.

In 2008 he convinced Eclipse to support his interest in Green Building and become a NAHB Green Home Verifier for the company.  After completing his Energy Star Verifier and Home Energy Rater training, his interests in ecology and building science led him to Sustainable Building Systems.   Since working for SBS he has been noted by the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) as one of the top 15 most active verifiers in the country and has assisted the NAHB research center in developing the scoring tool for the ANSI approved ICC 700-2008 National Green Building Standard.   In May of 2010 he was appointed to the Missoula City Greenhouse Gas & Energy Conservation Team, helping lead the City in conservation measures.

Currently Zandy is studying to be a consultant for the most stringent energy standard in the world, Passive House.  Literally meaning “home that conditions itself” homes certified to the Passive House Institute standard use a tenth of the energy of conventional code built homes.

Zandy and His wife Prairie are bringing sustainability to their neighborhood by starting a small scale CSA garden on their lot in city limits.  They also have chickens, a German Sheppard, a barn yard cat, and a stellar son, Bannin.  Zandy has always had a love for the outdoors and when there is no snow to ski you’ll probably find him Mountain biking or juggling at the farmers market.

We are proud of our staff and their accomplishments.  It’s not just enough for us to talk about green energy around here, we strive to live it and do it, as well.


for more information on SBS, Energy Consulting or to talk with Zandy:

Alexander (Zandy) Sievers
RESNET Home Energy Rater, NorthWest Energy Star Homes Verifier, NAHB Green Building Verifier