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Remodeling Soon? Go Passive. It’s Truly Amazing.

GreenTown is always interested in energy efficient homes. A recently completed retrofit in Sunnyvale was featured for International Passive House Days (Nov. 8-10, 2013). The 1957 home was built with typical single pane windows and minimal insulation and was in need of an upgrade.

The heat pump uses half the energy of the fridge.


The new owners wanted more than a new look, they wanted good looks and energy efficiency. They hired One Sky Homes’ designer and builder Allen Gilliland, and he delivered. It was a “chain saw retrofit,” says Gilliland. By that he meant it wasn’t a tear down, but a lot of lumber was removed. The home got the standard upgrades with new windows, doors and lots of insulation – top, bottom and sides. The flat roof stayed flat, but now with three layers of rigid foam and wrap-around sealing at the edges. With meticulous attention to the sealing of all gaps, the home is snug with no more drafts, no more heat loss and better air quality because it is all filtered air. Take a deep breath, it’s perfect if you suffer from allergies. The 1650 sf home is heated (or cooled in the summer) with a 300-watt heat pump fitted with a heat recovery ventilator. Yes, 300 watts! That’s all this house needs and it keeps it at a steady 72 degrees.

With that level of efficiency this “appliance” uses less energy than any of the top six energy-consuming Energy Star appliances in the home. The number one energy hog is the refrigerator at $8 a month – twice the energy cost of the heat pump. The owners have lived in this newly remodeled home for over six months and they love the sleek European styling, the energy efficiency and the comfort. Allen says all of these kinds of efficiency upgrades will add 5-10% to the cost, but the pay back will be fast. Something to consider the next time you remodel.

Want more information? Here’s the link: http://www.oneskyhomes.com/valley-forge-passive-house-retrofit


Allen Gilliland of One Sky Homes

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