July 2015 | News Release
COEUR D’ALENE, ID: Most of us are familiar with those uncomfortable drafts in the winter, particularly around windows and doors and the stuffy air that results from keeping everything closed up; the challenge of maintaining a comfortable temperature in our homes during weather extremes while the cost of heating and cooling continues to rise; and the challenge of maintaining a mold-free environment when moisture in the air creates condensation.
Now imagine a draft-free home, one where the temperature variations are extremely narrow year ‘round – even near doors and windows. How about a ventilation system that supplies continuous fresh air filtered of pollution, dust and mold? Picture yourself opening up an energy bill that actually brings a smile to your face with the added satisfaction of knowing you’re doing your part to conserve energy – actually consuming 80 to 90 percent less heating energy than a traditional building. It’s possible in structures built to Passive House standards.
Andy Smith, principal of Edwards Smith Construction, is pleased to bring this innovation to the area as the first and only builder in North Idaho designated a Passive House Institute US or Phius Certified Builder.
“It’s a completely different way to think about building,” says Smith. “Passive home design and construction consider the physics of mother nature. Discomfort arises in a typical home due to the movement of air; heat moves toward cold surfaces and moisture moves toward dry and vice versa. The goal of a passive structure is to prevent this movement; the result is superior comfort.”
The Passive House technology was perfected in Germany and the principles can be applied to residential as well as commercial structures. In addition to being tremendously energy efficient, passive buildings offer a number of long-term benefits. They are extremely resilient – able to handle the typical stresses of nature – and offer superb air quality. “Indoor air in a passive home is better than outdoor air any day of the year, ” says Smith
Super-insulation combined with an extremely airtight building envelope in passive homes is what dramatically reduces temperature variation, and also prevents condensation and mold issues. Additionally, in passive homes, good for you and good for the environment go hand-in-hand.
The Passive House Building Energy Standard promoted by Phius Certified Builder is one of the most rigorous building energy standards in the world. Those who have obtained the right through Phius to carry the Phius Certified Builder designation have committed themselves to design and construction excellence along with the passive house energy performance and quality criteria.
Edwards Smith Construction is headed by Jim Edwards who started the company in 1994 and Smith who joined in 1997 and became a partner in 2008. The two owners have over 60 years combined experience in residential and commercial building and remodeling. Artistry and attention to detail are the hallmarks of Edwards Smith’s success. “At Edwards Smith Construction, we recognize it’s a team effort and that it takes the entire team (architect, owner, subcontractors, builder, etc.) working together to get the outcome our clients’ desire. The result is a project in harmony – and it’s evident in everything we build – passive or otherwise.”
According to their website, Phius has trained more than 1,700 architects, engineers, energy consultants, energy raters, and builders. It is also the leading certifier of passive buildings.