We had about 50 people come through Kingston Passive House for the tour. There were lots of good questions, in particular about the sub-soil heat exchanger. It’s unfortunate the actual PEX lines around the foundation were buried and out of sight, but having the back-fill in place made us feel a bit more comfortable about having guests onsite. There were also a few inquiries as to why we left most of the front wall out while continuing with the second floor structure and walls. We’re glad passers-by had an opportunity to “see” the second floor develop, but the reason we left it open was a logistical challenge for the SIP installation. The front foyer is open above, making the wall 2 full stories high. Code requires continuous timbres from floor to ceiling in this scenario, which for us meant continuous (double 2×6 @ 19 feet long) splines between the panels; the main and top floor walls across the foyer had to be installed at the same time. Once past the foyer, we completed the main floor wall, installed the remainder of the second floor structure, and subsequently the second floor walls.
The trusses for the house and garage arrived – some assembly required! We chose a very traditional gable-end roof design which means ladder-trusses on the ends, but our large 36″ overhang (part of the summer shading strategy) resulted in seven foot wide ladder trusses which the supplier didn’t build.
Standing trusses is always a bit stressful; you’re standing in precarious positions while attempting to tame a 40 foot long truss being blown around by the wind as it hangs from a crane.
Once standing, they become quite a bit more fun. You transform back into a kid as you walk through the wooden maze, adding all the required bracing. Putting on a roof really transforms a building into a home, but this is no ordinary roof over your head; to ensure we have full depth insulation, the trusses were built with a 30-inch raised-heel. The pitch is mild though (3/12) so even with the heel we’re at or below the height of most other 2-storey houses in the neighborhood. With the sheathing done, we’ll soon apply the underlayment in preparation for the steel roofing. I must admit, I’m really looking forward to closing in this Passive House… Everyone on the crew is more than curious to see how it performs as the heating season knocks at the door!
Speaking of doors, we have decided to once again make Kingston Passive House open to the public for an afternoon. It hasn’t been too long since our last open house, but we want to do our part and showcase local (Kingston) conservation initiatives as part of the second annual “Green Energy Doors Open” event taking place this weekend throughout Ontario. The event is organized by The Ontario Sustainable Energy Association, and you are welcome to drop by this coming Saturday, October 5th, between the hours of 1 and 4 pm. For a complete list of participants, here is the website: