1950s Home Retrofit to Super Efficient Passive House


This 1950s Montreal house was retrofitted to become a super efficient passive house by adding a 16 inch thick layer of cellulose insulation to the exterior.

Maison Ozalée’s builder, Richard Price from Construction Le Tournesol, also used triple glazed windows with insulated frames, and strategically placed small windows on the north side of the building to reduce heat loss, and placed large windows on the south side to take advantage of solar gain, which helps heat the house in winter. In order to avoid overheating the house in the summer, there are built-in shading elements above the large south-facing windows.

Because of the energy gained from passive solar, and because it’s airtight, this home only needs approximately 10% of the energy a typical home of the same size would need to heat during the winter.

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This is all very interesting, however, most people can’t afford tens of thousands of dollars just to lower their heating bill. Need to find low cost, simple solutions. That’s why we emphasize using natural materials.