Net positive Passive House opens in Maine

Net positive Passive House opens in Maine

The Viridescent House, the first net-positive Passive House in Maine, opened as part of a $10-$15 million investment TideSmart Global is making in its sustainable campus. 

The Viridescent House is a certified Passive House (or Passivhaus), a rigorous, voluntary, international certification based on a reduction in energy demand. A Passive House uses about 90 percent less energy than an average home. Currently, there are only a handful of net-zero buildings in the state, but this house produces twice the amount of energy needed to sustain itself and therefore is a net-positive house. 

"Although we were the first to build a net-positive Passive House," said Steve Woods, CEO of TideSmart Global. "My hope has always been that there will be a second, third and so on, making The Viridescent House a symbol of sustainability for other business leaders to follow and ultimately, help move Maine towards the Passive House certification being a state building standard."

TideSmart Global partnered with the Portland-based architecture firm BRIBURN to ensure that all the standards and regulations for Passive House certification were met. Each building material and design decision was carefully researched and selected to optimize energy efficiency. Some of the design details include, triple pain/glazed windows, an insulated slab for the foundation, radiant heat, solar panels, low flush toilets, LED lights, a second electric car charging station in the parking lot and more.

"You can't have a great project without a great client," said Chris Briley, Founding Partner & Principal Architect at BRIBURN. "TideSmart Global's commitment to energy efficiency made it possible for us to push the envelope with our expertise in sustainable design and I vow to continue my excitement for the next net-positive Passive House that follows."

The plot of land used to build The Viridescent House previously belonged to a house from 1880 and was affectionately known as Yellow House. After last year's harsh winter, most of the basement and plumbing systems were ruined and the decision was made to rebuild. All the salvageable materials from the demolition of the Yellow House were donated to The Maine Building Materials Exchange in Lisbon, Maine to benefit low-income homeowners.

TideSmart Global will use the new net-positive house as a showcase home for its employees, clients and other community leaders. Its sister agency, Viridescence specializes in green event marketing, which is an area the company is looking to expand over the next five years.

Read more about Passive House.

Topics: Building Green, Certification / LEED, Passive House, Sustainable Communities

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